As December 2013 drew to a close, we were beginning to get some real momentum going with Margot’s donor appeal.
ITV London decided to broadcast Margot’s story, which helped give an additional boost to our efforts and in the coming weeks, Margot’s donor appeal and campaign for more potential stem cell donors snowballed from there.
In 2015, as part of Margot’s legacy, we’ll continue to raise awareness globally of the need for more stem cell donors and in particular, the need for more potential donors with mixed race.
Team Margot’s initial UK target is to see the number of people on the stem cell registry increase to 4% of the UK population.
4% doesn’t sound like much, but it’s no mean feat. To achieve this target would mean adding more than 1.5 million people onto the UK stem cell registry. There are currently less than 1 million people on the registry, 40 years after it started.
4% happens to be the percentage of the UK population who are blood donors, which is why we are taking aim at this figure, in the first instance:
– Blood donation is required regularly. By comparison, registration as a potential stem cell donor is a ‘one time’ action; once you’re on the registry, you’ll never need to register again.
– Blood donation involves a needle in the arm. Registration as a stem cell donor needn’t; DIY cheek swab kits and spit kits are quick and painless ways to join the stem cell registry. See: How to Register
It’s also our wish for other countries with stem cell registries to achieve the same or better. We cannot see any reason why this shouldn’t be possible – indeed almost 7% of the German population is already on their registry.
So it stands to reason, that if the existing 900k+ potential stem cell donors were to each encourage ‘Just One More‘ to register AND the existing blood donors (who are eligible) were to give a little extra blood the next time they donated in order to join the registry, then we would easily achieve this initial target.
If only it were that straightforward !
We are continuing to work with the NHSBT, Anthony Nolan, Delete Blood Cancer UK & the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry to try and make this happen.
In the meantime, we are helping to amplify and create awareness around Team Margot donor registration events being organised by others, starting with one in North London on Saturday 17 January at Coleridge Primary School which is being organised by the awesome Marina Calero, alongside Amanda & Elizabeth. This donor registration event encompasses Crouch End, Highgate & Muswell Hill postcodes and is supported by eleven local schools.
For more information, please visit: http://crouchend4margot.org
More on that shortly, but in the meantime, here’s wishing you and your families all the best for 2015.
Happy New Year !