An Assembly Member is on standby to save a life after joining a donor register – and he’s urging his constituents to do the same.
Ken Skates, the Labour AM for Clwyd South, recently signed up with Delete Blood Cancer UK and is now on a list of people who could be called into action at any time.
He said: “Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with blood cancer, and the charity’s aim is to increase the pool of potential blood stem cell donors and save more lives. I would urge any of my constituents who might want to help to seriously consider it.
“You simply need to give a cheek swab, and if your sample is successfully analysed you are added anonymously to the UK Stem Cell Registry. That means you are officially on standby to save the life of someone suffering with a blood cancer such as leukaemia or lymphoma.
“The odds are you will never be called upon, but if you are you will have the chance to give someone a second chance. Just by being a potential donor you are giving hope to every new person being diagnosed with these terrible diseases.”
More than 72,000 people have requested to join up since February 2013, but it costs the charity £40 to register each donor, so financial support it also desperately needed.
Mr Skates said: “Wales is already at the forefront of the search for a cure for cancer, with the Wales Cancer Bank – celebrating its 10th anniversary – having tissue and blood samples from almost 10,000 people being used by researchers across the world.
“In addition, the Welsh Government is leading the way on improving access to cancer treatment, with 98% of patients referred via the non-urgent route now start treatment within the target time of 31 days. Survival rates, which are better here than anywhere else in the UK, also show the real difference being made to families in Wales.”
For more information and to find out how you can donate, visit the Delete Blood Cancer UK website www.deletebloodcancer.org.uk.