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Blood cancer charity challenges young men to use 10 minutes of gaming time for good this Blood Cancer Awareness Month

Stuart Brooks

With the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, people are spoiled when it comes to choosing a location for a date or night out with friends. For those who prefer staying in, gaming and screentime is king leading blood cancer charity, Anthony Nolan, to challenge young men to put down their phones and stop planning outfits for 10 minutes to sign up to the stem cell donor register.

In a poll of 2,077 British adults which took a light-hearted look at how people spend their time, to mark Blood Cancer Awareness Month, nearly half (43%) of young men said they spend more than an hour playing video games. One in five (20%) spend the same amount of time browsing the latest trends on TikTok, prompting Anthony Nolan to call for young men to spend just a fraction of that time joining its register of stem cell donors.

According to the charity it takes just 10 minutes to sign up to the stem cell register, online, and go on standby to save a life. Currently three in ten (14%) men aged 18-30 spend 10 minutes picking an outfit for a date or night out and one in four spend the same amount of time choosing and ordering a takeaway using an app.

The poll also revealed that almost one in 20 men aged 18-30 spend up to 20 minutes choosing an outfit for a date, festival or night out – twice the length of time it would take them to sign up to save a life. Over a third (38%) spend more than 20 minutes getting ready at the beginning and the end of the day.

Terence Lovell, Chief Engagement & Marketing Officer, said:

‘Donating stem cells to a complete stranger is the ultimate act of kindness. For someone with blood cancer, a stem cell transplant could be their last chance of survival and every day we are incredibly grateful for our amazing stem cell donors.

‘To mark Blood Cancer Awareness Month we wanted to take a playful look at how young men spend their time. We know that in the 10 minutes it takes the average young man to order a takeaway, they could sign up to the stem cell register. Any one of them could be a match for someone in desperate need of a stem cell transplant.’

The poll also revealed that one in five (19%) men aged 18-30 said they spend more than an hour a day messaging their friends on apps such as WhatsApp; six times as long as it would take to join the stem cell register and equivalent to a full working day each week. Over half (55%) of young men spend over an hour each day scrolling through social media and four per cent spend up to an hour on fantasy football a day.

Anthony Nolan is appealing to young men to sign up to their register, as they are most likely to be chosen to donate to a blood cancer patient in need of a lifesaving stem cell transplant. The charity is also urging people from minority ethnic backgrounds to sign up because, genetically, patients are far more likely to be matched with somebody with a similar ethnicity.

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To find out more about the charity’s work, and join the Anthony Nolan register this Blood Cancer Awareness Month, visit anthonynolan.org.

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Press release Stem cell register