Flintshire MPs attend blood cancer event in Parliament

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Stem Cell Transplantation, supported by the blood cancer charity, Anthony Nolan, held their annual summer reception this week.

Local MP Mark Tami was again voted in as chair of the APPG and hosted the reception. Mr Tami was joined by a number of charities and politicians from across the floor who were celebrating the work that the APPG has done over the past year.

Although the APPG have enjoyed a number of successes over the past year, most notably securing funding for second stem cell transplants, they still need more people to sign up to the register.

There is still a shortage of young males on the register and also a drastic shortage of people from ethnic minorities as the chances of finding the best possible match drops significantly if you are from a black, Asian or ethnic minority background.

Mark Tami said; “I was delighted to be voted in again as the chair of the Group. We have done some fantastic work since its creation and enjoyed a number of successes.

“However it is clear that a lot more needs to be done. The register is still a long way off being as diverse as we would like. We need more people, from all backgrounds to sign up to the register to ensure that every single person in need is able to find a lifesaving match, regardless of their genetic heritage.

“The work Anthony Nolan do in supporting this Group and raising awareness is magnificent, it’s a pleasure to work alongside them and hopefully we can enjoy mores successes over the next year.” 

A number of MPs attended the event to urge their constituents to sign up to the register, amongst them was Delyn MP, David Hanson.

David Hanson MP said:

“The APPG for Stem Cell Transplantation is vital for raising awareness of the need for more people to register to become a stem cell donor. Currently, Delyn ranks 516 out of 650 constituencies in the UK showing that more people are needed on the register. I hope that people will sign up to give people a second chance of life when they are diagnosed with blood cancer.”

When someone in the UK needs a transplant, a search for a matching donor takes place. If there is no suitable match on the UK register, Anthony Nolan searches the global network of international registers and imports the matching stem cells.

The single UK stem cell registry is known as the ‘Anthony Nolan and NHS Stem Cell Registry’ and made up of donors recruited by the NHS British Bone Marrow Registry, the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry and DKMS, as well as Anthony Nolan.

There are a number of ways that you can sign up to the UK’s stem cell donor registry. You can find out more information about the criteria and how to sign up at www.appg-stemcell.org.uk/signup.