This year we’re proud to be celebrating Blood Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM). An annual campaign that takes place every September, the month is dedicated to raising awareness of blood cancers and disorders and highlighting the inspiring stories of patients and stem cell donors, who offer their match a second chance of life.
For compelling stories, data and insights and expert comment from our host of spokespeople, Anthony Nolan’s award-winning communications team can provide a full support service to journalists, researchers and producers looking to shine a light on BCAM.
World Marrow Donor Day 2023
As part of BCAM 2023, World Marrow Donor Day this year falls on 16 September. This is a global awareness day dedicated to thanking stem cell/bone marrow donors across the world and promoting the lifechanging impact of stem cell donation.
Joshua received a leukaemia diagnosis at just 14 years old. He underwent treatment and spent several months in hospital. Now in his twenties, Joshua still remembers the isolation and anxiety he experienced when he was ill and is an advocate for all young patients. Joshua works with Anthony Nolan and other charities to help develop a more diverse, positive space for patients to talk about their experience.
Bansri and Amrit
Bansri was diagnosed in June 2020 with t-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and was informed that there were no matches for her on the stem cell register. She subsequently received two transplants from her siblings. Bansri started to raise awareness about the need for more south Asian donors, encouraging more people to sign up to the register – including her husband, Amrit. Amrit was contacted in December 2022 by Anthony Nolan and donated his stem cells in May 2023. Both Bansri and Amrit are passionate about sharing the importance of joining stem cell register
Wendy and Kevin
Wendy was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2019. After four rounds of chemotherapy and months in hospital she was informed that she would need a stem cell transplant. Five potential donors were found on the register, and Wendy received her transplant in 2020. Wendy’s donor was Kevin from Chicago, USA. Kevin signed up to be a stem cell donor after his cousin was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of 11 and his mother was diagnosed with lymphoma. Wendy and Kevin met when Wendy and her husband flew out to Chicago and spent three days with Kevin and his family. Wendy now views Kevin as her surrogate son, and both are keen to share their stories.
Henny Braund MBE
Our CEO, Henny, has worked at Anthony Nolan since 2009. Henny sees it as her primary role to champion our cause and to galvanise people to help our lifesaving work. With a wealth of experience and knowledge, Henny is our expert spokesperson who can talk about our great need for a more diverse register and sign ups from young men.
Dr Jenna Love
Jenna is a Clinical Psychologist who works at St George's Hospital, London. Working with cancer patients and people pre and post stem cell transplant, Jenna has a remarkable insight into the experience of patients with blood cancer and the journey to finding a donor and beyond. In addition, Jenna works with patients who are post-transplant and physically well, but still struggle with aspects of their mental health – an issue often overlooked when we talk about stem cell transplants.
Dr Robert Danby
Dr Robert Danby is Chief Medical and Scientific Officer at Anthony Nolan. He is a consultant haematologist in allogenic stem cell transplantation at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and has 20 years’ experience in clinical haematology. He is an honorary Associate Professor at University College London and is the Chief Investigator for national studies on the impact of graft cryopreservation on transplant outcomes, and Anthony Nolan’s PrEQoL study of social and economic factors in stem cell transplantation. He is a member of the UK Stem Cell Strategic Forum Oversight Committee and Chair of UK Cord Blood Initiative.
About Anthony Nolan
Anthony Nolan saves the lives of people with blood cancer. We use our register to match potential stem cell donors to blood cancer and blood disorder patients in need of stem cell transplants. We also carry out pioneering research to increase stem cell transplant success, and support patients through their transplant journeys. We champion the stories of those with blood cancer/a blood disorder and stem cell donors to increase awareness of the UK’s need for a more populated and diverse register.
Every day Anthony Nolan gives three people a second chance at life.
Stats and facts
- Anthony Nolan facilitates 1,100 stem cell transplants from an unrelated donor every year for patients in the UK. For many, a transplant is their last chance of survival.
- Anthony Nolan needs more young men to sign up, as they account for over half of all donations received by an unrelated patient but make up just 18% of the register.
- Blood cancer is the fifth most common type of cancer in the UK and the third biggest cancer killer. It accounts for 9% of all new cases of cancer diagnosed in the UK.
- 90% of donors donate through PBSC (peripheral blood stem cell collection). This is a simple, outpatient procedure similar to giving blood.