What does joining the register involve?
If you’re between 16 – 30 and in good health, you can sign up to the Anthony Nolan register (you’ll stay on it until you turn 60). We’ll send you a swab pack in the post so that you can do a cheeky swab and send it back to us.
Whenever a patient with blood cancer or a blood disorder needs a lifesaving stem cell transplant, we search the register, looking for someone who’s a genetic match for that patient.
If you’re a match, we’ll be in touch, and we’ll ask you to donate if you’re still healthy and happy to do so.
What does donating involve?
9 out of 10 people donate their stem cells via the bloodstream, in a straightforward process called peripheral blood stem cell collection.
1 in 10 donors will have their stem cells collected via the bone marrow itself, while under general anaesthetic.
If you’re on the register, you need to be happy to donate your stem cells via either method.
Want to know more? Check out our helpful video here:
Does it hurt to donate bone marrow or stem cells?
Short answer – no. We’ve spoken to countless donors who only have positive things to say about the experience, but you can read more about how it feels to donate stem cells or bone marrow here.
You can also click here to read just a few stories from people who’ve donated, and see some videos here.
How else can I help?
If you’re not eligible to join the register, don’t worry – there are plenty of other amazing ways you can support our work and help save lives. You could run a marathon, go skydiving, volunteer with us, or even lobby your local MP on behalf of people with blood cancer and blood disorders in desperate need. Take a look here for more details.
You may have noticed that we’ve recently started sending out swab packs to join the register, rather than spit kits. There’s no need to worry, whichever method you sign up by, you’ll be on our register and ready to save someone’s life. You can find out more about why we’ve made the change here.