Incredible news: stem cell drive helps save a life!

Student volunteers at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have been told they have helped to save the life of a woman dying of leukaemia.

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Donor: Sarah Olsen, who joined the stem cell register at a recruitment drive in Highcross

The volunteers, part of DMU Square Mile, have worked with the Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign since 2012 to encourage young people to sign up to the Anthony Nolan Stem Cell Register at events across Leicestershire.

Anthony Nolan helps to find matches for people with blood cancer and Rik, whose life was saved following a transplant, now dedicates his time to getting more people onto the UK register. Last week they were told that one of the people they signed up to the register in 2014 had gone on to donate and save a life.

Sarah Olsen, who is now at Sheffield University, was in the Highcross for its popular student lock-in night when she saw the event and signed up.

The process was simple – all she had to do was spit in a tube and fill in a form to join the register.  She had forgotten all about it until December, when the charity called to tell her she was a match for a woman with leukaemia.


Sarah, of Birstall, was called in for more tests and in January underwent the transplant which she said was “easy”.

“The feeling knowing that I have saved someone’s life is incredible. I’d urge anyone to sign up. You could really help someone.”

Rik was absolutely delighted to learn that a life had been saved thanks to the event.

He said: “I’m overwhelmed and very happy knowing that someone in the UK today there is an incredibly happy family.”

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David Hollis, Square Mile manager, said: “The staff and students that support the Stem Cell drives here at DMU could not be happier at this news. Hundreds of students have given countless hours since the DMU Stem Cell drives began in 2012, so this is the ultimate reward for everyone’s efforts. We aim to carry on this lifesaving work, with a number of events planned over the next 18 months across Leicester to sign up even more 16-30 year olds to the NHS Stem Cell register."
The DMU volunteers were in action again this weekend as Leicester Tigers played Stade Francais in the Champions Cup.
Posted on Tuesday 12th April 2016

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