I was recently contacted by a BloodtoBaby follower on social media who has asked to remain anonymous. For the purposes of this blog I shall call her Sarah. Sarah raised concerns about the recruitment of teenagers to the Antony Nolan stem cell register and the potential influence this may have on young people.
We are concerned that as a consequence these future parents may be more inclined to donate large volumes of their baby's stem cells from blood in the umbilical cord at the birth of their children, without understanding the benefits of delayed and optimal cord clamping to the baby.
Sarah informed me that her daughter (age 17) had been contacted by the Antony Nolan Trust who had been allowed to set up a stand and deliver a presentation about stem cell collection at her daughters school. The aim to approach the older students to ask if they are willing to sign up to their stem cell register.
Antony Nolan are a multi faceted charity which uses its register to match potential stem cell donors to blood cancer and blood disorder patients in need of stem cell transplants. Individuals willing to donate their blood stem cells or bone marrow are recruited and their details are held on file and then later potentially matched to a patient in need. The reputable work of the charity improves outcomes and quality of life for people suffering with blood cancer and disorders.
The Hero Project
The very cleverly named education programme that Antony Nolan offers is called 'The Hero Project'. Its aim to teach 16–18-year-olds about the importance of donating stem cells, blood and organs. <