Players at Inverness Caledonian Thistle joined the Anthony Nolan stem cell donor register at Fort George this week, and encouraged other young men to do the same.
Anthony Nolan need more young men to sign up. They produce more stem cells than women and are six times more likely to donate, but make up just 17% of our register. We also need more donors from black and minority ethnic backgrounds as we often struggle to find matches for people in these groups.
Caley Thistle goalkeeper, Mark Ridgers, said: “Cancer is a terrible thing; I have lost a family friend through it as well so for me it’s something that I was always going to be interested in.
“We are role models – they come and they pay their money to see us, they want to be like us, they want to go on and play professional football and we are fortunate to do that. To be able to at least give the opportunity to help if needed it’s a great thing to do and for the football club to be involved as well it’s a great occasion.”
Amy Bartlett, Regional Register Development manager for Scotland says: “We’re incredibly proud that 11% of people on our register come from Scotland and are delighted that Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club have been inspired to encourage people to sign up as donors.
“By raising awareness of our work amongst fans and footballers alike, Inverness Caledonian Thistle will help Anthony Nolan to find a match for every person in need of a stem cell transplant. With the support of partners across Scotland, we hope to save countless lives around the world.”
Inverness Caledonian Thistle Manager, John Robertson, added: “I lost both parents to cancer and I think everyone in the country has part of the family that has been touched by that unfortunately.
“There might be one lad in that dressing room that is able to help one person and if that’s the case then we owe it to ourselves and patients in need to try and help them. I am very proud of them.”