The entire community of Leicester is being urged to get behind a record-breaking campaign to sign up 1,000 young people to the Anthony Nolan register in just one day. On October 1st 2014, eight local landmarks will host stations where people can sign-up and save a life.
Some of Leicester's best known faces will join forces with Leicestershire's three universities to encourage local 16-30 year-olds to give a saliva sample and join the register in the hope of saving strangers fighting blood cancer.
Rik Basra's latest initiative
The ambitious plan to target 1,000 young people in one day is the latest initiative by Leicestershire police officer and Leukaemia survivor, Rik Basra, and De Montfort University's Square Mile Programme.
Rik's life was saved after he received a bone marrow transplant from an anonymous donor through Anthony Nolan in 2011.Rikand his family have campaigned tirelessly ever since to recruit more donors to the register and went on to set up the The Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign, which works closely with De Montfort University students.
University of Leicester's Marrow Society, a group that supports Anthony Nolan and Loughborough University students are also joining forces for this one off event.
Rik, said: "We're very excited to be signing up potential lifesavers at eight different locations in a single day. It’s going to be a fun day with lots going on and plenty of entertainment, but most importantly, we want people take a few minutes out of their day to register with Anthony Nolan.
Every single person we sign up has the potential to save a life, I know only too well because someone did it for me!"
'It's quick and simple and could potentially save someone's life'
Dominic Shellard, Vice Chancellor of De Montfort University said: "DMU is not afraid of a challenge and we're determined to help set a new record of recruiting donors at this superb event.
It is particularly pleasing to see all three universities working together on this event and I hope the people of Leicester will join our students and become part of the national register on October 1st. It'squick and simple to do and could potentially save someone's life."
Some of Leicester's best-known sports stars are getting involved to support the event. Ex-Leicester, Liverpool and England striker Emile Heskey will be at the event.
Heskey, who was born in Leicester, said: "When I was asked by Rik to help out, I just couldn’t say no. It’s a pleasure to help the team recruit more lifesavers, what’s more important than that? It’s so easy to sign up, everyone should be doing it."
Leicestershire and England cricket legend Paul Nixon said: "It’s such a simple thing to sign up to the register, all you have to do is fill out a form, spit in a tube and the team at Anthony Nolan does the rest. I hope Leicester gets behind Rik and his team and signs up big numbers!”
'A lifesaving city'
Ann O’Leary, Head of Register Development at Anthony Nolan, says, ‘We urgently need more young people to come forward and save a life by donating their stem cells. The Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign and DMU Square Mile have already achieved great things to boost the numbers of young people in Leicester signing up as lifesaving donors.
The team’s latest plans for eight events in one day are their boldest and most ambitious yet, and we’re really excited to work with them to make this exciting initiative a huge success.’
Rory Palmer, Deputy Mayor for Leicester, said: "Dedicated volunteers like Rik and De Montfort University Square Mile students are invaluable to this city and to charities like Anthony Nolan. We need to get more young people on register to make Leicester a lifesaving city!"
If you are aged 16-30 and in good health you can sign up at the following locations on 1st October:
De Montfort University - Campus Centre, Leicester Train station, Gallowtree Gate, Clock Tower, Humberstone Gate, Highcross Shopping Centre, Jubilee Square & Loughborough University.
To sign up online, click the button below: