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Renewed plea for more to donate bone marrow in Uttoxeter

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A RECOVERING leukaemia patient says she has ‘a renewed drive’ to make sure East Staffordshire’s ranking in a national league table is improved.

Last week, bone marrow transplant charity Anthony Nolan published figures which placed the constituency of Burton and Uttoxeter at number 515 out of 650 depending on the number of potential donors in the area.

The figures have been described as ‘disappointing’ by East Staffordshire resident Katherine Sinfield who received a bone marrow transplant herself last October.

The figures showed that the Burton and Uttoxeter constituency has just 508 people registered on the Anthony Nolan register.

Katherine, said: “When you consider that the Burton and Uttoxeter constituency has an electorate of more than 75,000 people, the figure of 508 potential donors in a cause for concern.”

Katherine has already started work on changing this with an aim of getting Uttoxeter into the top 100 constituencies as soon as possible.

The 33-year-old said: “My plan is two-fold. Firstly I want to hold a mass-recruitment event in the town where anyone aged 16-30 who is in good health can spit in a tube and sign up.

“I want to involve as many faith groups as possible as there is a drastic shortage of donors from black and ethnic minority backgrounds.

“Secondly, I want to work with local sixth forms and colleges because education is key to improving donor numbers and students are in the ideal age bracket to sign-up.

“If anyone has the question of ‘why should I?’, all I can say is that leukaemia doesn’t mind if you’re black, white, young or old. Once diagnosed, you’re playing Russian roulette when it comes to finding a suitable donor unless we improve the number of people on the register.”

Every 20 minutes, somebody in the UK is diagnosed with blood cancer. A large proportion will rely on a bone marrow transplant to survive and at present, the charity is only able to find a match for one in every two people.

More information is available by e-mailing stephen.sinfield@uttoxeteradvertiser.co.uk or by calling 01283 524868.

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