A Ripon volunteer has marked the milestone of giving more than 50 presentations across Yorkshire about the importance of bone marrow, blood and organ donation.
Steve Silver volunteers as part of the Anthony Nolan charity’s education programme, Register and Be a Lifesaver (R&Be), which involves him delivering inspiring presentations about the organisation’s work to 16 to 18-year-old students across the region.
The charity uses its register to match potential bone marrow donors to blood cancer patients in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant, but at present the demand for marrow far outweighs supply.
Mr Silver began volunteering for the charity in 2010, and since then has given more than 50 talks at schools as well as travelling to London to speak to MPs about the programme, with a number of them expressing their support.
This year he is taking on a new challenge as he prepares to run the London Marathon on Sunday to raise vital funds for Anthony Nolan – the official charity for this year’s race.
Mr Silver said: “More than 71,000 potential donors were recruited to the register last year, taking the total number of people signed up to over 500,000.
“It’s worth saying that all of this would not be possible without the kind donations Anthony Nolan receive each year.
“It costs around £100 to place each potential donor on the register and it’s for this reason that I will be running the London Marathon raising funds for Anthony Nolan.”
The R&Be project has reached more than 125,000 students since it was established in 2009, with more than 5,000 young people joining the Anthony Nolan bone marrow register as a result.
The R&Be programme is a partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant that also looks to recruit to the blood and organ donor registers. Since 2009, more than 7,600 students have joined the blood donor register and nearly 2,500 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.
“A transplant is usually the last option open to these patients, and the larger the register, the more chance they have of surviving their conditions.”
To support Steve’s fundraising campaign, in which he hopes to raise £2,600 – enough to place a potential donor on the register for every mile of the race – visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SteveSilver