Tuesday, 16 February 2016

583 New Lifesavers Thanks to Birmingham Marrow

I went to Birmingham Marrow's open mic night, set up not only to help raise money for this wonderful charity, but also to encourage people to donate their stem sells to save the life of someone who is in desperate need. "Give a spit, save a life!" The student volunteers have had wild success so far with a total of 583 new students signing up this academic year. I spoke to some of the people leading the event for the University's Adopt a Charity Week, who had personal ties to the cause.

At the open mic night at The Soak in Selly Oak, the team were selling a range of cakes and also held a raffle to raise money for the charity, adding plenty to the already raised £1450 so far.

"Who doesn't like an open mic night with cocktails, prizes, cakes, the whole lot?" 
Alex and Ims looking pleased with the turnout at the open mic
night in support of Marrow

Marrow works closely with Anthony Nolan, who saves the lives of people with blood cancer. At Marrow's open mic night, I spoke to student volunteer, Alex, who explained how his mother suffered from leukaemia and was diagnosed when he was 8 years old. 

Anthony Nolan managed to miraculously find his mother a donor match just 2 years later, a complete stranger from Canada, who saved his mother's life. 11 years down the line, she's really healthy and fully cured, all thanks to this wonderful organisation's work. 

"I wanted to do some good for the charity, and I wanted to let people know how they could potentially save someone's life too." 

I also spoke to Ims, a medical student at the University, who got involved with the charity back in freshers week. The charity stood out to her because of the practical involvement, and she wanted to make an impact on people's lives. She praised the charity's many aspects, ranging right from fundraising down to the actual interaction with people and persuading them to sign up to the register.

Sign up sheets in the Guild for Marrow's
donor register
Ims also got her enterprising cap on and did a great job of getting in touch with lots of local businesses around Selly Oak and beyond, getting them to donate raffle prizes, adding something even more special to their successful event.

Around 2,000 people need a bone marrow transplant in the UK each year. A white British person looking for a match has a 60% chance of finding one, while for people from a black, Asian or ethnic minority background, this dramatically reduces to just 20%. This is what Marrow is hoping to change.

So, has this has inspired you become Marrow's next lifesaver? Here's where you can sign up: https://www.anthonynolan.org/8-ways-you-could-save-life/donate-your-stem-cells/apply-join-our-register

Amelia Lowe
Student PR team

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