Society Spotlight: UEA Marrow

The Broad’s Society Spotlight’s are regular articles highlighting the societies of UEA – open to any and every club and society at the university. If you want your club or society spotlighted just send us a quick message and we’ll give you all the information you need!

Hi, I’m Louise and this is how I’ve got one step closer to becoming a lifesaver.

A year ago, my friend and now President Euan co-founded the society UEA Marrow for the charity Anthony Nolan. Before I explain what the charity is, I’d like to explain why I joined. I didn’t know what the charity was or what they did, but quite simply after hearing Euan’s personal experience with the charity I was inspired to help.

In 2011 Euan’s dad was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia, a form of blood cancer. After rounds of chemotherapy, they were told their father needed a bone marrow transplant. With initially no matches, Anthony Nolan said they could offer a lifesaving stem cell transplant from the blood of two umbilical cords. In February 2012, Euan’s dad successfully became the first patient in the UK to receive this type of transplant and has now been cancer free for five years.

I think this story shows the massive difference Anthony Nolan can have to people who are suffering with blood cancer. I am so proud to say that I am now part of the committee for UEA Marrow and cannot wait to round up more support and potential matches.

Since being set up in 1997, Anthony Nolan has over 100,000 potential donors join the programme. That has given over 15,000 people the chance of life. We are delighted to say that some of those donors are our very own UEA students!

To sign people up, UEA Marrow hosts donor drives where we give information and provide cheek swabs for those that want to register. It couldn’t be easier: one cheek swab and your DNA gets sent off to Anthony Nolan to see if you could be a potential match. That is all it takes to possibly save someone’s life.

There is often a misconception with stem cell transplants that it can only be done through the bone, however this is not the case: 90% of transplants are done by giving blood.

As a member of the society as a whole, I cannot recommend it enough. Being part of UEA Marrow feels good. I like knowing that I am doing my little bit to help spread awareness and change people’s lives.

If you want to become a lifesaver or help our hunt for heroes  then please find us on Facebook or any social media at ‘UEA Marrow’ and feel free to ask any questions. For more information, go to https://www.anthonynolan.org/.

Image from UEA Marrow’s Facebook Page.

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