STUDENTS have been helping a health charity recruit more potentially life-saving donors.

The event, part of a week of action, took place at Leeds Beckett University where volunteers were encouraging people to join the Anthony Nolan stem cell register. The blood cancer charity works to save the lives of people who need a stem cell or bone marrow transplant and has a network of of ‘Marrow’ student volunteer groups across the country.

Since Leeds Marrow was set up it has recruited more than 17,000 people to the register and of those 118 have gone on to donate stem cells to someone in need of a life-saving transplant.

In Yorkshire, 53,323 potential stem cell donors have registered with Anthony Nolan while more than 760,000 people across the UK have signed up.

The charity’s Chief Executive Henny Braund said: “Marrow really are the unsung heroes, helping Anthony Nolan give hope to patients with blood cancer by signing up an incredible number of potential donors to the stem cell register.

“Any one of these people could save the life of someone with blood cancer. It costs £40 to add each new person to the Anthony Nolan register, any money raised by Marrow will directly help save lives.”

Among those attending the event was Olympic medal winning triathlete Jonny Brownlee, from Bramhope, who - alongside his fellow champion triathlete and brother Alistair - supports the charity.

Some of the Parliamentary candidates for Leeds North West also went along. Conservative candidate Stewart Harper is urging more people from the constituency, and particularly men aged from 16 to 30 and people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds, to register as donors.

He said: “I was very interested to hear about the great work Leeds Marrow have undertaken since 2001 and also to see students selflessly volunteering to give someone a second chance at life.

“Donating stem cells is straightforward but it could make an enormous difference to someone with no other chance of a cure. I very much hope more people from our community will be inspired to sign up.”

Kamran Hussain, who is standing for the Liberal Democrats, said: “It was a privilege to meet the hard working volunteers of Leeds Marrow. I was inspired by their hard work and dedication in raising awareness and funds for the stem cell register.

“I had the chance to chat to some of the volunteers about the work they are doing alongside to save the lives of people with blood cancer.

“I hope the recruitment day was a massive success.”

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