MPs call for young men to join the stem cell register

July 11, 2011
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A cross party group of MPs have come together to call on Britain’s young men to join the Anthony Nolan stem cell register – and in the process are challenging every MP in Britain to recruit ten young men each as donors over the summer parliamentary recess.

Barrow-in-Furness MP John Woodcock heard about the urgent need for stem cell donors when his 15-year-old constituent Alice Pyne blogged her “bucket list” of things she wants to do before she dies. Alice has Hodgkin’s lymphoma and couldn’t find a matching donor when she was still well enough to benefit from a stem cell transplant. At the top of her list is the wish to recruit more people to the donor register.

Cumbria’s MPs have set aside their party rivalries to try to deliver on Alice’s wish. They have written to every MP in Britain asking them to recruit just ten young men each over the summer; and have tabled a motion in Parliament calling on the young men of Britain to step forward.

The call comes as the Prime Minister prepares to meet Alice Pyne on Wednesday 13th July, when she plans to ask David Cameron what he can do to help.

Labour MP John Woodcock said, 'If MPs recruit just ten young men each, they will give hope – and a chance of life - to the 1,600 hundred people in Britain currently in need of a stem cell transplant. Alice has been inspiring – this is our chance to turn that inspiration into action'.

Fellow Cumbria MP and President of the Liberal Democrat Party Tim Farron said, 'MPs have few opportunities to do something that helps people immediately. But if we recruit enough young men over the summer, this could result in lives being saved by Christmas'.

Rory Stewart, Conservative MP for Penrith and the Border said, 'Sixteen hundred people with blood cancers and similarly life-threatening disorders can have a chance of life. We just need Britain’s young men to step forward and MPs are the ideal people to spread this message in their communities'.

Chief executive of Anthony Nolan, Henny Braund, said, 'This campaign is crucial in helping us to find matches for the 1600 people in the UK in need of a lifesaving transplant. With their unparalleled knowledge of their constituencies, MPs could be pivotal in helping us to reach young male donors'.

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