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Young men urged to become stem cell donors by Rona Mackay MSP

RONA Mackay MSP has added her support for the fight against blood cancer by calling for more people in Scotland aged 16-30 to sign up to the stem cell donor register.

The Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP attended an event at the Scottish Parliament in support of blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan, which searches for lifesaving stem cell donors on behalf of patients in desperate need of a transplant.

Ms Mackay said: “It’s fantastic to hear that 58,000 people in Scotland have signed up as potential stem cell donors. The charity Anthony Nolan has set a target of recruiting another 10,000 people to the register in the next year – and it’s vital we meet that target to save the lives of more patients. I have no doubt that the people of Scotland will rise to the challenge, and save even more lives in the future.”

The call came in response to Anthony Nolan’s new strategy for Scotland, which outlines ambitions to increase the numbers of potential stem cell donors and provide more support for patients.

Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said: “We are delighted Rona Mackay MSP has been inspired to encourage others to join the Anthony Nolan stem cell donor register. Donating is an incredibly selfless thing to do and will give someone with blood cancer the best possible chance of survival. What many people don’t realise is that it is also surprisingly simple – for 90% of people it is a straightforward process similar to giving blood.”

To join the Anthony Nolan register you must be 16-30, weigh at least 50kg and be in good health. Joining the register involves filling out a simple online form and spitting into a tube. Visit to find out more and register.

Among the charity’s many supporters are Scottish Friends of Anthony Nolan, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, volunteers at the Sheriff Court Tea Rooms, runners in the Edinburgh and Glasgow Marathons, and Police Scotland. There are also a number of Marrow branches at universities across Scotland, a network of student volunteers who support Anthony Nolan by holding recruitment and fundraising events.


For more information on Anthony Nolan, please call the Anthony Nolan press team on 0207 424 6636 or email


About Anthony Nolan

Anthony Nolan saves the lives of people with blood cancer. The charity uses its register to match potential stem cell donors to blood cancer and blood disorder patients in need of stem cell transplants. It also carries out pioneering research to increase stem cell transplant success, and supports patients through their transplant journeys. Every day Anthony Nolan gives three people a second chance at life. Find out more at

Key statistics from Anthony Nolan

About 2,000 people in the UK need a stem cell transplant from a stranger every year

90% of donors donate through PBSC (peripheral blood stem cell collection). This is a simple, outpatient procedure similar to giving blood

We need more young men to sign up, as they are most likely to be chosen to donate but make up just 15% of the register

We need more people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds to sign up. Only 60% of transplant recipients receive the best match. This drops dramatically to around 20% (one in five of transplant recipients) if you’re from a Black, Asian or ethnic minority background.

It costs £60 to add each new donor to the register so we always need financial support

To join the Anthony Nolan register, you must be 16-30 and healthy. Anthony Nolan’s world-leading Research Institute has shown younger donors offer better outcomes for patients.

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