On 7th May, a teenage bone marrow patient from Cwmbran is calling on all 16 and 17 year olds who can’t vote to make a difference by joining the Anthony Nolan stem cell register. Emily has spoken out as she is celebrating reaching her 100 day post transplant milestone on General Election Day 2015.
Emily Clark, who set up her ‘Remission Possible’ blog to support other cancer patients, had a lifesaving bone marrow transplant after an overseas donor was found for her through blood cancer charity and donor register, Anthony Nolan.
Emily was first diagnosed with Lymphoma in December 2013 after she noticed her stomach was swelling and her jeans became tighter. Scans later revealed it was cancer.
Through Emily’s blog, social media and press, Emily tirelessly campaigned to get more young people on the Anthony Nolan register.
Selfless Emily is now using her 100 day milestone on the 7th May to call for everyone over 16 to join the Anthony Nolan register.
Emily says, ‘As a 17 year old I know how frustrating it is that you can’t vote in the election, but there is another way to stand up and make a difference to others; lots of people don’t realise that 16 and 17 year olds can make a lifesaving difference by joining the Anthony Nolan register.
‘I’m on the long road to recovery and have a future now and that’s all thanks to my donor. We need more people like my donor to be heroes and stand up in the fight against blood cancer not just for me but for everyone who needs a transplant.’
Emily’s call for 16 and 17 year old donors comes after Macclesfield teenager Victoria Rathmill became the youngest person in the world to donate stem cells to a stranger in October 2013, aged just 17. Shortly afterwards, Ethan Buttress (also 17) became the first under-18 year old to donate bone marrow to a stranger.
Emily’s mum Donna, who is also training to run the Cardiff Half Marathon for the charity, says, ‘It is a huge relief to see Emily on the road to recovery, not just to enable her to get excited about planning her future, university, holidays etc but to enable me to be home with my younger children doing the normal things, school runs, watching football training and cooking tea shouting about messy rooms and doing homework.’
Ann O’Leary, Head of Register Development at Anthony Nolan says, ‘We understand that like Emily, many 16 and17 year olds may be frustrated that they cannot vote in the general election.
‘We are joining Emily to tell young people that they can make a difference to the world around them in such a simple way. To the join the register, all you have to do is fill out a form and spit in a tube. If you are a match for someone like Emily, donating is very simple and similar to giving blood.’