More than 100 police officers and staff members from Police Scotland have joined the stem cell donor register to give people with blood cancer a second chance at life.
Police Scotland has recently launched a partnership with Anthony Nolan to increase the number of people on the stem cell donor register. Recruitment events have been held at the Police Scotland College in Tulliallan, Fife and at the Information Management Unit in Dalmarnock, Glasgow.
The Dalmarnock donor drive was held on Wednesday 9 November to support the search for a lifesaving donor for young Scottish toddler Ava Stark.
Staff were given the opportunity to hear about the Anthony Nolan register and could sign up as donors by providing a saliva sample. Thanks to the event, the force has now recruited more than 100 staff members to the register and given a boost to Ava’s appeal.
Ava Stark is a three-year-old girl from Lochgelly in Fife who urgently needs a stem cell transplant to treat her inherited bone marrow failure. Two donors who were previously identified have been forced to pull out for medical reasons, meaning that Ava must stay in isolation until a third match is found. She is reliant on regular blood and platelet transfusions to manage her condition.
So far more than 20,000 people have joined the Anthony Nolan register in response to Ava’s appeal. Anyone aged 16–30 and in good health has the potential to become a lifesaving match.
Superintendent Chris Stones of Police Scotland said: ‘I'm delighted that the Police Scotland family continues to support Anthony Nolan. We're building on our events at Tulliallan and reaching out to our colleagues across Scotland to ask if they can help save the lives of people like Ava. The Dalmarnock event will hopefully attract potential donors and spread the fantastic work of the charity.’
Amy Bartlett, Regional Manager for Scotland at Anthony Nolan, said: ‘It’s fantastic that Police Scotland is supporting the search for a donor for Ava by holding this event. Everyone that joins the register could be a match for a person with blood cancer, so by signing up you could be giving someone a second chance at life. People often don’t realise how simple it is to donate – nine out of ten people will donate through a straightforward outpatient procedure similar to giving blood.’