Many years ago, a colleague with whom I was working closely contracted leukaemia in early middle age.
At first, it looked as though this might be a catastrophe, cutting him off in his prime. But the miracles of modern medicine have provided my colleague with a bone marrow transplant and – admittedly after a long spell in hospital – he recovered fully, and has been active and productive ever since. When one thinks of the relief, not only for him and his wife and young family, one is bound to conclude that bone marrow transplants are amongst the many marvellous treatments provided by the NHS.
However, I have recently learnt that these transplants depend upon having a sophisticated data base of potential donors – and this is something that a rather wonderful charity, the Anthony Nolan Trust, was established some years back to promote.
Last week, I was approached by a constituent in Dorchester who explained all of this to me and asked for my help in spreading the word.
This brought back memories of my colleague from long ago – and I am therefore both intending to register myself on the database and to set up a series of events over coming years to recruit others for the register of donors.
I gather that we already have 710 potential donors on the Anthony Nolan register locally – so there is a considerable foundation on which to build. As it will take some time to get the events organised and advertised in social media and elsewhere, I thought I should take the opportunity of this column to alert any reader who happens to be interested and to relay both the website (anthonynolan.org/superhero) and the email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) of the Trust, so that any reader who wants to make contact with them can do so right away.