A former Forfar Academy pupil addressed MPs recently about a the importance of bone marrow, blood and organ donation.
Steve Silver, a volunteer for the Anthony Nolan charity, spoke to politicians and their staff about the organisation’s bid to support a new Bill through Parliament.
Mr Silver began volunteering for the charity in 2010, joining its Register and Be a Lifesaver (R&Be) programme for which he delivers presentations about Anthony Nolan’s work to 16 to 18-year-old students across Yorkshire, where he now lives.
The event, hosted at Portcullis House by Felton and Heston MP Seema Malhotra, championed the charity’s ‘Adrian’s Law’ Bill, which calls for all young people to be educated on the need for, and processes behind, donating blood, organs and bone marrow.
It gained the signatures of 67 MPs at its Early Day Motion earlier this year, and a number of MPs have expressed an interest in helping the campaign.
Mr Silver said: “It is fantastic to have such strong support for our education programme. As local advocates, MPs can help us reach more young people, which will ultimately help save more lives.”
The R&Be project has reached over 100,000 students since it began in 2009, with more than 4,600 young people joining the Anthony Nolan bone marrow register as a result.
The project is run in partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant that also looks to recruit to the blood and organ donor registers. Since 2009, more than 7,400 students have joined the blood donor register and nearly 2,400 have signed up as organ donors as a direct result.
Mr Silver added: “With someone in the UK being diagnosed with a blood cancer every 20 minutes, it’s crucial that we have a large register of potential bone marrow donors from which we can try to find a match.”
It costs around £100 to place potential donors on the charity’s register and Mr Silver will be running in the London Marathon to raise funds for Anthony Nolan, enough to place a potential donor on the register for every mile of the race. Anyone wishing to sponsor him can do so online at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SteveSilver