CAMPAIGNS run by two cancer sufferers appear to have put Pendle near the top of the ‘league table’ of bone marrow donors.
A successful donor drive by survivor Robert Hayhurst has helped lift the number of donors to 1,596, which is nearly double the national average and the 13th highest total out of 650 constituencies.
Rossendale and Darwen was 109th on the list, with a total of 1,051 people on the register.
Blackburn was 210th in the league table (868 donors), Hyndburn 228th (840 donors), Ribble Valley 305th (750 donors), Burnley 334th (718) and Chorley 413th (625), Mr Hayhurst, 29, from Colne, who works at Skipton Rubber Mouldings, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in 2011 and launched a desperate appeal for a bone marrow donor to come forward.
He organised events in Pendle to attract and test potential donors, and was eventually matched with a donor through the Anthony Nolan charity. The Lancashire Telegraph also supported the Help Julie campaign in 2009, which was launched by the family of another leukaemia sufferer from Colne, Julie Patefield, who also a bone marrow transplant but sadly died in 2009, aged 38. The two campaigns have persuaded hundreds of people to sign up.
However, Anthony Nolan said it can currently only find a match for about half the people who come to them, so they are still desperate for more people in Pendle and the rest of East Lancashire to sign up.
To join you must be aged 16 to 30 and be in good health.
Ann O’Leary, head of register development, said: “Donating is an incredibly selfless thing to do and will give someone with blood cancer their best chance at survival. What many people don’t realise is that it is also surprisingly simple.”
Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said: “I am delighted that Pendle has one of the highest number of ‘heroes’ on the register out of anywhere in Britain, but we could get even more.
“I’m hunting for more people to sign up today, so we can fight blood cancer together. It is something truly heroic to give a stranger a second chance at life. That is why I’m proud of the huge number of Pendle residents already signed up and proud to champion this cause.”