Margot’s auntie Nadia and I have been meeting NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) and the British Bone Marrow Registry for a couple of years now and we are delighted to announce the first of our joint campaigns with them.
We refer to it as the ‘I was there’ campaign and it has today gone live on roadside billboards across London for a month.
The essence of the campaign is to encourage people who are from Black, Asian and mixed race backgrounds to join the bone marrow register.
Thank you so much Sam and Russell for your generosity and for breathing life into this campaign via your roadside billboards. We feel extremely fortunate to have your help and support again.
The second version of the ‘I was there’ campaign poster features a photo of Margot & has a bit more copy – this lends itself to / is more appropriate for use in magazines and in print. If you would like the original copy for use in your magazine / newspaper, please drop me an email: email@example.com
And finally, thank you Theo Clarke from NHSBT for all your efforts in getting this off the ground – and also for your blog post below ! The original plan was to post this guest blog in early January (hence the references to the New Year) however we came up against delays. No doubt you will get the basic message.
Together, saving lives
Guest Blog by Theo Clarke, Lead Donor Relations Manager at NHSBT
At the start of the New Year, everyone always focuses on themselves. It’s perfectly natural – everyone does it.
Whether it is after the quality family time of the holidays or as a result of the overindulgence of Christmas people are desperate to change themselves for the better.
Whether it be by getting fitter, eating healthier, spending more time with their family or having quality time with the kids instead of working all the time; it’s a challenge that people set themselves, a challenge which is within everyone’s grasp.
Some people keep it up and some do not but all have the opportunity to try.
It’s within their power to change things – or at least try to change things. To feel like they’re doing something. To make headway, to make a difference.
Now, imagine that it’s the New Year and you’ve got something life threatening which you need to change. Because you need a bone marrow transplant.
And that’s it – you can’t change anything, you can’t do anything about it, all you can do is wait. New Year, same problem.
If your family aren’t a match and there no matches when the world wide Bone Marrow Registers are searched then there is nothing that can be done. The patient has no option but to just wait.
In all the action films you watch, all the stories of survival you read do you ever hear of anyone just sitting, twiddling their thumbs? And yet, this is exactly what these patients have to do. The wait can be a minute, can be a day, can be a month or years or it can be interminable. Yet their condition does not wait, it advances, relentless in its pursuit and merciless in its side effects. Blood donations can abate the condition but they cannot cure it – only a bone marrow transplant has a chance of curing the patient. It is their only chance.
We are in need of more people with Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic or mixed race heritage to become blood and bone marrow donors. Quite simply, there are not enough donors from these backgrounds. Thus if you’re a patient from a similar heritage then you have less chance of getting a bone marrow match as a result.
So why not make your New Years resolution this year something which is an easy challenge to do, but a life changing result to someone who needs it.
Please go to blood.co.uk to find your nearest donation session. Before you donate, please ask about joining the British Bone Marrow Register. It is a simple blood sample to be taken at the same time as your blood donation and that’s it, you’re on the register with a chance of starting someone’s New Year off with the best news they could hope to receive – ‘we’ve got a match’.