During each assembly for the week commencing March 5th, a presentation will be delivered at Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College by The Hero Project, an education programme run by charity Anthony Nolan. Anthony Nolan helps to save the lives of people with blood cancer by matching them with remarkable donors willing to give blood stem cells (bone marrow) for potentially life-saving transplants.
The Hero Project works in collaboration with NHS Blood and Transplant to deliver presentations to 16 to 18 year olds about stem cell, blood and organ donation.
The presentation will dispel common myths, explain the importance of donation for sick patients, and arm students with the facts about what is involved. This enables them to make an informed decision about becoming a donor in future.
After the presentation, students will have an opportunity to register as blood and organ donors. Filling in the application forms and posting them off will register them with NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT). Those on the register as organ donors will remain on it for life, unless they remove themselves from it. Those who register as blood donors will be contacted by NHSBT with details of their local blood donation sessions, which they can attend if they wish to. To learn more about blood donation visit www.blood.co.uk, or go to www.uktransplant.org.uk to find out more about organ donation.
Students will also be given the opportunity to fill in an Anthony Nolan online form, asking for more information about joining the stem cell donor register. If, after receiving this information, someone chooses to join the register, they have to fill in a medical questionnaire and give a DNA sample via a simple cheek swab. Their details are then added to the donor register.
People on the register are only asked to donate if they are selected as a match for someone in need of a stem cell transplant. The chances of being a match and asked to donate within five years of joining the register is around 1 in 750.
If you would like to find out more about Anthony Nolan, please visit www.anthonynolan.org. If you have any other questions about the presentation, please do contact Notre Dame.