Resham Kotecha supports charity's campaign to find more young lifesavers

resham_kotecha_anthony_nolan.jpgResham is supporting a blood cancer charity’s campaign to find more teenage lifesavers.

Resham is backing Anthony Nolan’s ‘Save a Life At 16’ campaign in a bid to help the charity save the lives of more blood cancer patients.

The campaign sees the charity attempt to persuade HMRC to include details of the Anthony Nolan bone marrow donor register when it writes to young people with their National Insurance numbers in advance of their 16th birthdays.

The charity has pledged to cover all associated costs and hopes this would encourage more 16-year-olds to join the register. This is important as young people are more likely to be chosen as stem cell donors by transplant doctors.

The charity hopes that if young people are informed about the chance to save the lives of people with cancers such as leukaemia, many more will step forward to register, with an increase of up to 25 per cent in the number of young donors predicted.

Resham, who has written to HMRC and the Public Health Minister to ask them to support the plan, said:

“The Anthony Nolan donor register is incredibly important in helping find matches when patients need stem cell donations. The BME community and young people in particular are needed on the donor due to current shortages and given the easy process of registering and donating, I urge everyone to sign up. By including information of the campaign, HMRC can ensure that every young person learns about the excellent work that Anthony Nolan does and more importantly, that they can sign up to the register.

I’m delighted that 1488 people in Dulwich & West Norwood are already on the register (making us the 29th best constituency!) but I would like to see even more people sign up to help those who need it.”

Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said: “Every year in the UK around 2,000 people with blood cancer need stem cell donations from a stranger. We believe young people are passionate about helping others, but they also need to be well informed about the chances open to them.

“By agreeing to our proposal, the government can make it easier for people as young as 16 to become lifesavers.”

The news comes shortly after Anthony Nolan revealed that 1488 people in Dulwich & West Norwood are on the bone marrow donor register.