MSP calls for more North-east blood donors

Mr Stevenson took part in an event held at the Scottish Parliament to mark Blood Cancer Awareness Month
Mr Stevenson took part in an event held at the Scottish Parliament to mark Blood Cancer Awareness Month

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson is encouraging North-east folk to register as stem cell donors.

He says it is vital to ensure that a match is available for everyone in need of a transplant.

The MSP's call comes as he welcomed research which shows his constituency ranks in the top 20 for being registered to donate to those with blood cancer.

More men from the black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds between the ages of 16-30 are being encouraged to sign-up.

Mr Stevenson took part in an event held at the Scottish Parliament to mark Blood Cancer Awareness Month when he was told that in his constituency there are 1,159 potential stem cell donors registered with Anthony Nolan.

Some 29% of these donors are male with the average age being 32 years.

In total, more than 700,000 people in the UK are on the Anthony Nolan register, any of whom could be a match for someone with blood cancer and asked to donate their stem cells to give a patient a second chance of life.

While anyone on the register could match for someone with blood cancer, men aged 16-30 are most likely to be asked to donate and while they provide more than 50% of donations, they make up just 16% of the register.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson said: “I am very proud that Banffshire and Buchan Coast has 1159 people who have selflessly volunteered to give someone a second chance at life.

“Donating stem cells is straightforward but it could make an enormous difference to someone with no other chance of a cure.

“I strongly hope that more people from our community will be inspired to sign-up and show that together, we can provide a cure for blood cancer.”

Henry Braund, chief executive of Anthony Nolan, said: “Since 1974 thousands of caring, selfless people have joined the Anthony Nolan register and thousands of lives have been saved as a result.

“This Blood Cancer Awareness Month residents can be proud of all the lifesavers in your community. It’s wonderful to have the support of Banffshire and Buchan Coast in achieving our goal of saving and improving the lives of people with blood cancer and blood disorders.”