De Montfort University students in stem cell donors campaign
Students at a university are urging their peers to register as stem cell donors.
De Montfort University has teamed up with charity Anthony Nolan, which runs the register and finds potential matches for people in need of a transplant, for a donor recruitment session.
The event is also being supported by The Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign.
Leicestershire police officer Rik had a bone marrow transplant at Leicester Royal Infirmary in December 2011, after being diagnosed with leukaemia for the second time.
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He said: "A bone marrow transplant can be the last chance of survival for someone with blood cancer – but I know from experience it can be incredibly hard to find a matching donor.
"Younger donors are the most likely to be chosen to donate by transplant centres, so being able to recruit De Montfort students is a fantastic opportunity for us."
The session will take place at the Campus Centre, The Gateway, from 9.30am to 4pm on Tuesday.
People who go along will be asked to complete a short form to confirm they are eligible to join the register, and will then spit into a tube so their biological information can be used to match them with patients.
The event is being organised as part of the university's Square Mile project, an initiative to improve the lives of people living within a square mile area near the campus.
Square Mile manager Mark Charlton said students had "led everything from setting up the event, promoting it and administration" to "the collection of the saliva samples".
Those signing up to the register must be aged between 16 and 30, weigh more than eight stone and be in general good health.
Anthony Nolan said there was a particular shortage of young men on the register and people from minority ethnic backgrounds.
A spokesman for the charity said: "Every 20 minutes, someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer.
"A bone marrow or blood stem cell transplant is often their last chance of survival, because 70 per cent of them will not find a matching donor from within their families."
Deputy city mayor Rory Palmer said: "Rik is living proof that being on the bone marrow register can save lives.
"I would encourage everyone who's eligible to come forward and sign up on the day."
A donor session is also being run by The Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign and Anthony Nolan at Regent College, in Regent Road, Leicester, on April 26.
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