Today we are celebrating the first ever World Marrow Donor Day and 25 million donors worldwide with a special event.
We've invited stem cell donors and transplant recipients to tea at a London hotel this afternoon.
Guests will be treated to afternoon tea and will also be able to view a huge exhibit made up of messages written by transplant recipients, Anthony Nolan supporters and Anthony Nolan staff to thank donors for their selflessness.
At the event, transplant recipient Steve Goddard, 55, will also be meeting his donor, Tom Wiltshire, 30, for the first time.
World Marrow Donor Day has been organised by the World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA)
The WMDA is a global association of blood stem cell, marrow and cord blood registries or organisations representing 25 million stem cell donors from 52 different countries.
It plans to make World Marrow Donor Day an annual event and the aim of this year’s celebration is to thank the 25 million donors on the world’s registers, as well as to highlight the global cooperation in blood stem cell transplantation.
Since Anthony Nolan established the world’s first bone marrow register in 1974, other countries all over the world have set up registries.
Today, when someone needs a transplant, registries are able to search these combined registers to try to find a matching donor, breaking down international barriers in order to save lives.
Worldwide stem cell and cord blood organisations are now organising events to share in the celebration, and to emphasise that 25 million donors is still not enough to meet the need.
Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said: “We are delighted to be marking the first World Marrow Donor Day and to have the opportunity to thank some of our fantastic donors.
“Without these selfless individuals Anthony Nolan could not carry out its lifesaving work so we are extremely grateful to them – they are true heroes.
“In the four decades since it was founded, Anthony Nolan has given more than 14,000 people a second chance at life and our donors, and other donors around the world, will continue to help save lives long into the future.”
Michael Boo, President of the WMDA, said: “Every day, patients receive a second chance at life thanks to the selfless acts of ordinary people.
“We are thrilled to celebrate every volunteer marrow donor and potential donor on this day. Each person who gets involved gives patients hope - not just in one country, but around the world.”
If you're aged 16-30, you can join the 25 million people on the worldwide register by clicking on the button below: