World first as Chichester teenagers join bone marrow donor register

TEENAGERS will make history today (Thursday, October 4) when they sign up to the Anthony Nolan bone marrow register at a special event at Chichester College.

The 16 and 17 year olds will be the youngest to sign up to a global network of potential donors willing to donate bone marrow to treat blood cancers.

On Monday, charity Anthony Nolan changed its joining criteria to allow 16 and 17 year olds to sign up to its UK-based register. It is the first register in the world to do so.

The recruitment event takes place a week after the charity visited the college, in Westgate Fields, Chichester, as part of its education project, Register and Be a Lifesaver (R&Be).

The presentation aimed to explain blood, organ and stem cell donation, so students have information before they sign up.

Chichester College has already been host to the successful George Bennett patient appeal.

George, from Littlehampton, was diagnosed with aplastic anaemia in December last year.

He is now on medication and doing well but will eventually need a stem cell transplant.

“At the moment, it’s very hard to find a match for me, partly because there aren’t enough people on the Anthony Nolan register,” he said.

“I’m so excited that 16 year olds will be able to sign up for the first time to help people like me who are still waiting to find a match.”