As part of this year's World Cancer Day awareness-raising, we travelled to Parliament alongside six other charities, to talk to MPs about our lifesaving work.
Cassie from the Anthony Nolan Policy & Public Affairs team shares the story of the day:
Saturday 4 February is World Cancer Day.
Anthony Nolan is taking part with 9 other charities who will be uniting together to build a future where every patient survives.
As part of the build-up, on Wednesday 1 February, we joined six of the other charities (Breast Cancer Care, Breast Cancer Now, Bowel Cancer UK, Cancer Research UK, CLIC Sargent and Marie Curie) in parliament to tell MPs about our lifesaving work supporting cancer patients.
Hayley Leonard, who was Anthony Nolan’s first ever post-transplant specialist nurse, joined the Policy and Public Affairs Team at the event, and spoke to MPs about her work supporting patients after their stem cell transplant. Based at the world-leading cancer hospital The Royal Marsden, Hayley helps patients with any physical and emotional side-effects they experience, and also provides advice on getting back to work and financial issues.
Taking the time to tell MPs about what we do is really important because it keeps stem cell transplantation at the front of their mind. This means that they’re more likely to raise the issue in parliament, support our campaigns and promote the stem cell donor register in their constituency.
Overall, it was a brilliant afternoon, as we talked to around 40 MPs including Health Minister David Mowat MP, who stopped by our stand to hear more about why supporting patients in the years after their transplant is so important, and why specialist nurses like Hayley have such a positive impact.
We were also able to speak to his opposite number, Sharon Hodgson MP, who is a shadow Health Minister for the Labour Party. We always try to get cross-party support when we’re working in Parliament to make sure patients from all areas of the UK are represented.
Now that the event’s over, it’s our job to keep the conversation going. MPs are always busy and they have lots of people competing for their attention, so we need to make sure that Anthony Nolan stands out.