Be A Lifesaver

Be A Lifesaver

A former Chesterfield headteacher who has battled a rare blood cancer launched a donor recruitment drive at Tupton Hall School.

Steve Goddard, who was head at Springwell Community College, became ill with Myeloma in 2011.

He now works for blood cancer charity the Anthony Nolan Trust and says Anthony Tupton Hall is ‘the best school I've visited’ in terms of response and support for the cause.

Steve led a talk in front of many of our sixth formers, who were greeted with the thought provoking slogan 'Register and Be a Lifesaver’.

The Anthony Nolan Trust has set up a register of donors whereby those suffering can find a match for a stem cell transfer.

This treatment could help them to fight cancer and buy them precious months - or even years - of time with their families.

As Tupton Hall students found, it is easy for young people to get involved with the charity when the Register and Be a Lifesaver (R&Be) scheme visits schools, telling people how to sign up.

The R&Be sessions also dispel myths around the 'horrors' of a stem cell or bone marrow transplant, and allow individuals like Steve to tell their own stories of dealing with blood cancer in an enlightening and informative session.

After this, audience members have the chance to sign a form expressing interest in becoming a donor. A few days later the team returns and asks those people to commit to being on the register by depositing a saliva sample into a ‘spit kit’ which is then sent off for analysis.

At Tupton Hall School an impressive 27 people signed up to the register with the hope of being able to give blood cancer patients more valuable time with their loved ones, and eventually beat cancer.

Two thousand people each year in the UK need a stem cell match. Last year 49,241 potential donors were recruited, adding to the UK total of 550,819 people who are on the Anthony Nolan Trust register.

To find out more and sign up to become a donor visit:

www.anthonynolan.org