Basingstoke Bone Marrow Event

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service is supporting The Anthony Nolan Trust by holding a bone marrow donor recruitment session.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service is supporting The Anthony Nolan Trust by holding a bone marrow donor recruitment session.

- The session is taking place at Basingstoke Fire Station on 22 June 2010 between 14:00 and 20:00.

Influenced by Crew Manager John Taylor from Kingsclere Fire Station who was recently diagnosed with leukaemia, managers within Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Basingstoke and Dean Group have set up donor recruitment sessions across Hampshire in order to recruit much needed potential donors to the bone marrow register.  Crews have been working in partnership with the Service’s Occupational Health and Welfare Department and The Anthony Nolan Trust.

For people, like John, who require a bone marrow transplant, finding a lifesaving compatible donor is critical.  Fellow firefighters and support staff from across Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service have been encouraged to ‘do their bit’ and have volunteered to take part in the drop-in sessions both as potential donors and to help out behind the scenes.

Group Manager Dave Norgate said: “In partnership with The Anthony Nolan Trust we recently held a bone marrow recruitment session at Kingsclere.  It was a great success and we are really pleased that as a result of everyone’s efforts a potential 120 new recruits were signed up to the register.  We are inspired by John and I hope that we can encourage local residents and the wider community to come along to our event in Basingstoke so that we can achieve the maximum amount of potential donors possible.”

Retained firefighter John Taylor, who is married with two children, hopes that others with the disease might benefit from the potential donors that participate in these events.  He said: “The event in Kingslere was overwhelming and humbling.  I want to say thank you to all those who registered and I hope that it will save someone else’s life.”  He continued: “I hope that this will help someone else in the future who doesn’t have a match at the moment or who is waiting for a transplant.” The only cure for John is to try for a bone marrow transplant as the leukaemia is advanced in his case. 

Karen Archer, donor recruitment manager for The Anthony Nolan Trust, said “70% of patients who need a transplant won’t find a matching donor within their families.  Please come along on 22 June to find out more about donating; by joining the register you could save a life.” 

On Saturday 19 June 2010, firefighters will be giving out leaflets alongside volunteers from The Anthony Nolan Trust who will be on hand to give out advice at The Malls shopping centre, in Basingstoke town centre about the forthcoming event.

Those who attend the session will be given further information and asked to provide a saliva sample.
  To join the register you must be aged between 18-40 inclusive, be in good health, weigh over 8 stone (51kg) and be willing to donate bone marrow to any patient worldwide should you be a match. 

To find out more about The Anthony Nolan Trust click here or call 0303 303 0303.