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Give a spit – save a life

Stem cell register awareness

On 26 May, APR’s associate James Robinson used his “1% of time” allocation to raise awareness for Anthony Nolan’s stem cell register at Comic Con in London’s Excel.

Anthony Nolan saves the lives of blood cancer sufferers through stem cell donations.  Joining the register is easy: you just need to provide some personal details and a sample of your spit.

Finding a match is so hard that only 60% of patients find a suitable donor.  As such, it’s vitally important that everyone who is healthy and aged 16-30 joins the register.

James volunteered in memory of his friend Sophie, who died just before Christmas, aged 26, from a blood condition called myelodysplasia.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t a perfect match for her on the stem cell register, so Sophie ended up receiving a transplant from a partially matched donor.  A few months later, Sophie died following complications related to the imperfect transplant.

Comic Con was a great success for Anthony Nolan. Entering the ExCeL centre was like stepping into a completely different world, with attendees dressed up as characters from their favourite films, manga and comic books.

Under the slogan “Do you want to be a real superhero?”, the Anthony Nolan volunteers helped an extra 248 young people sign up to the register.

Could you give a spit to save a life? If so, visit the Anthony Nolan website.

As part of its Charitable Causes policy, APR offers all employees 1% of their work time to support a “good cause such as a voluntary organisation or to a local community project”.

* Image from

Some facts about Anthony Nolan:

  • Anthony Nolan fights to save the lives of people with blood cancers, such as leukaemia, by matching them to donors of blood stem cells or bone marrow for a potentially life-saving transplant.
  • In the UK someone is diagnosed with blood cancer every 20 minutes.
  • To join the Anthony Nolan register, you must be 16-30 and healthy. It takes just 5 minutes.
James Robinson

May 2017