Tuesday, 30 August 2011


Our television screens, newspapers and magazines are full of stories about so-called ‘celebrities’.
Now, I have to admit that I haven’t the faintest idea who most of these people are or why we’re meant to celebrate them. However, I’ve agreed to help find people with some real X factor.

Let’s make it easy – these potential stars don’t have to be able to sing, dance, juggle, or tell jokes. But, they do need to be male and between 18 and 30 years old. Is that you or someone you know? Someone who wants to be special?

I’ll explain.
  • On average, 65 people a day in the UK are diagnosed with a blood cancer – that’s one person every 23 minutes.
  • There are nearly 1,600 people in the UK now in need of a bone marrow transplant.  This is usually their last chance of survival.
  • Only 3 in 10 patients will find a matching donor within their families.
  • There is a shortage of young male donors on the bone marrow register. Men aged 18-30 account for 80% of donations, but make up just 19% of the register.
  • Right now, a matching donor can only be found for half the people in desperate need of a lifesaving transplant.

So, I’ve joined a number of other MPs who are aiming to recruit 10,000 more young men to the Anthony Nolan Register this year. Why young men? Because they have (on average) bigger bones and therefore produce more stem cells and because there is an improved prognosis for the patient if their donor is young.

Does becoming a donor make you special, a star, a celebrity? Certainly, those people who receive a transplant think you’re a star, and so do their families. And, most donors talk about how special it is to have saved someone’s life; and they’re right to be proud of what they’ve done.

Most donations are made at an out-patient clinic. It’s very similar to giving blood. You can find out more at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wN2nEft7iAU.

So, to show you’ve got the real x factor, sign up at www.mp.anthonynolan.org and enter code PNW2.