Father calls for donation law

May 17, 2012
For the latest data and information, visit our Facts & Stats page

A father who lost his son, Adrian, to leukaemia is calling for a new law to make young people aware of donating blood, organs and stem cells to save more lives. “Adrian’s Law” would ensure every school and college gave at least one session on becoming a donor to students aged 16 or over.

Campaigning dad, Keith Sudbury explained “We urgently need more people willing to donate blood and stem cells. By taking this message to students aged 16 years and over we can grow the first generation of potential lifesavers who really understand what it means to donate blood, organs and stem cells.”

Although Adrian received a transplant, he sadly died when he was 27. He spent the last two years of his life campaigning for better education about stem cell donation, taking a petition of 13,000 signatures to Downing Street and inspiring then Prime Minister Gordon Brown to write to celebrities to raise awareness of the campaign. In memory of their son, Adrian’s parents Keith and Kay Sudbury developed a school’s education programme called R&Be (Register and a Be a Lifesaver) which Anthony Nolan delivers in collaboration with NHSBT. Keith delivers many of these sessions which discuss blood, organ and stem cell donation. They are often delivered by volunteers with a personal story about donation to tell. 

Anthony Nolan Chief Executive Henny Braund said "We have already presented Adrian’s story to more than 60,000 young people and the response is phenomenal. Thousands of teenagers have since signed up either to donate blood, join the Anthony Nolan register or join the NHS Organ Donor Register. Taking this to 700,000 young people a year would help change the culture around donation and save thousands of lives. Adrian’s law will help young people grow into potential lifesavers. This is not the hard sell but arming 16 year olds with the facts they need to make an informed choice about donating; a habit they will take into adulthood.”

Currently, young people can donate blood at 17, join the Anthony Nolan register at 18 and join the NHS Organ Donor Register at any age. Young people are much more likely to be selected as a match for a stem cell donation but 18 - 30 year olds only make up 12% of the register. Anthony Nolan is campaigning to dramatically increase the number of young people on its register.

If you would like to support Adrian’s Law please tweet this article, share it on facebook, or most importantly, email your MP. You can find them by entering your postcode. If you do this, please put your MP in touch with our Policy Manager Alex Hilton on alex.hilton@anthonynolan.org or 07920 586 281.