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Stars back DMU stem cell campaign

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Kasabian have backed DMU's appeal

Stars from the worlds of music and sport have given their backing to a campaign by De Montfort University students to recruit more young people as stem cell donors.

Gary Lineker and Kasabian are just some of the famous faces who have lent their support to the GIVEASPITDMU event tomorrow.

Students have been working with the Anthony Nolan Trust, which runs the UK stem cell register, and the Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign, set up by Leicester police inspector Rik Basra after his own battle with blood cancer.

Anyone aged 16-30 is invited to go along to DMU’s Campus Centre in Mill Lane, Leicester, between 9.30am and 4pm to join the register. They do not have to be a student.

The register, which is run by Anthony Nolan Trust, matches blood cancer patients in need of a transplant with donors. At the moment 1,700 people need a lifesaving transplant – but a lack of donors means only half will receive one and survive.

Gary Lineker’s son George was diagnosed with leukaemia as a child and his life was saved by treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Backing the campaign, Gary – who was given an honorary doctorate from DMU in 2009 - said: “As an honorary graduate of De Montfort University and a long-term supporter of Anthony Nolan, I’m delighted to see that the two organisations are working together to increase the numbers of donors on the bone marrow register.

“A bone marrow transplant can be the last chance of survival for someone with blood cancer, but it’s only when you’re faced with it personally and you see the shortage of bone marrow donors available that you realise just how important it is for people to sign up.

“I’d urge everyone to think about joining the Anthony Nolan register – it could be the difference between life and death for someone with a blood cancer like leukaemia.”

Leicester rockers Kasabian said: “The Anthony Nolan trust is a fantastic charity that strives to create a worldwide database of stem cells that can be donated to people who need them to survive. Only two people a day and only 50 per cent of people who come to the trust benefit at the minute. With people's help giving both physical and financial donations these figures will rise!

“Please take time to look into this as it is a fantastic charity that will only get better with people's help.”

Matthew Boyce, Leicestershire CCC batsman, said: "Everyone at Leicestershire CCC recognises the important work of Anthony Nolan. Please help DMU students on the day with the bone marrow register.

"It is vital that students and other 16-30 year olds come along and show support your support. You could make such a big difference and help to save a life."

The Fun Lovin’ Criminals also backed the campaign. They said: “The greatest feeling is to give the gift of life and helping someone live when they have been hit with a crushing disease, well that is nothing short of a miracle.

“We all hold that power so please take the time to get involved and learn about how you can help make a huge difference with the Anthony Nolan stem cell register.

“We recommend you do this because you really don’t want us Criminals turning up on your doorstep! So get down on March 19 and register – or else...”

 The Specials have two Leicester musicians – Jon Read and Tim Smart – playing in their brass section.

Backing the campaign, they said: “Please take the time to head down to DMU and join the Anthony Nolan register. All you have to do to sign up is give a spit sample, it’s as simple as that.

“Those few minutes could end up saving a life.”

Leicester Tigers, LCFC, Paul Nixon, Leicester Riders, Chief Constable Simon Cole and  MPs Jon Ashworth and Liz Kendall have also backed the students’ campaign.

Students launched GIVEASPITDMU this month. More than 100 student volunteers from DMU’s Mile2 programme have come forward to run the event.

Rik Basra  said: “We’re thrilled that so many famous faces have taken the time to send this message of support. I hope it encourages as many students as possible to join the register on Tuesday.

“It could not be easier to sign up. All you need to do is fill in a form giving your details and those of your GP and spit into a tube. That’s it.”

 

Posted on Monday 18th March 2013

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