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The Corporation

Posted: 03/07/09

College helping to fight leukaemia

Kind-hearted staff and students from West Nottinghamshire College visited King’s Mill Hospital on Thursday (25 June) at a registration session to join The Anthony Nolan Trust’s bone marrow register.

College folk were touched by the story of Newark youngster Joel Picker-Spence, who aged just six years of age lost his four-year battle with leukaemia.  A bone marrow donor match was found for him by The Anthony Nolan Trust, but he was too ill to receive a transplant.

Sue Harries, Students’ Union Co-ordinator, said: “We had a heartfelt response from students who really wanted to see if they could be a match for children and adults who desperately need a bone marrow transplant. 

“They heard about Joel’s tragic story and when the opportunity arose for the public to register at the hospital they were really keen to get a group together and go along with staff to support this cause.”

The College party each gave a 4mls sample of blood at the clinic in the hope that one day they will be a match for a patient needing a transplant.

Joel’s mum, Anne-Marie, helped people register at the clinic and said: “The students were brilliant and I would like to thank them for coming to support the cause.  The more people that register, the more chance people have of finding a bone marrow match if they need it.”

Also present at the clinic sessions was Andy Ward, hospital medical technical officer, who has leukaemia himself, which is managed by medication.  Andy is a staunch fundraiser for the Anthony Nolan Trust and has arranged many money-spinning initiatives.  He was on hand to provide information about the Trust and spoke to students about the importance of joining the register.

Rachael Martin, BTEC Sports Diploma student, said: “I really support this cause as my family have health problems and we know how difficult it can be getting blood matches.  I also give blood and I would like to think that I can help someone else improve their health by what we are doing today.”