CAMPAIGNERS who have signed up 1,000 people as potential bone marrow donors have backed a Star campaign to help transplant patients.
Members of the Sheffield Marrow student group have reached their recruitment milestone and also collected £8,000 for the Anthony Nolan Trust through fundraising events in the past year.
And now they have thrown their weight behind the Star’s Gift of Life drive to sign up new organ donors before the British Transplant Games comes to the city in August.
Richard Harrold, a medicine student living in Crooksmoor, said: “We think the campaign is a great idea.
“People aren’t always that aware of what organ donation and bone marrow donation means.
“We’ve had people say they can’t give bone marrow because they aren’t dead.
“So anything that raises awareness of organ donation, blood donation and bone marrow donation is a good thing.”
Bone marrow is a soft tissue found in the centre of certain bones.
It is taken from live donors and used to treat patients with conditions including leukaemia – Sheffield Children’s Hospital and the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Broomhill have a base for the Anthony Nolan Trust.
Sheffield Marrow is a student branch of the trust and was set up in 2004.
It holds recruitment drives at student accommodation in the city and is hoping to branch out into the community too.
Richard, aged 22, said: “We’ve been getting bigger and bigger.
“This year has definitely been our best yet. We signed up the 1,000th bone marrow donor and have raised about £8,000 with a fundraising bar run, gig with comedian Adam Kay and donations.
“We can sign up anybody to the bone marrow register, not just students, although they are our main audience.
“Hopefully, we will be able to branch out into the community more in the future.”
The Gift of Life aims to sign up 12,000 new organ donors before hundreds of transplant athletes compete in the games in August.
* Signing up takes just minutes and can be done online at www.organdonation.nhs.uk, by texting SAVE to 84118 or by calling 0300 1232323;
* Joining the register records your agreement to the use of your organs and tissue for transplantation after your death;
* Tell your family. Almost half of donors’ intentions cannot be honoured because families were unaware of their wishes;
* Visit Bonemarrow for more details on becoming a bone marrow donor.