Lilya, aged 12, inspires drive for bone marrow donors in Nottingham

A Nottinghamshire-wide drive for more people to join the bone marrow donor register is taking place on Wednesday 3 April, Thursday 4 April and Saturday 6 April.

These events are being held in support of the ‘Find a Match for Lilya’ campaign, championed by 12-year old Lilya Coleman Jones, who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ETP-ALL) at the end of 2018.

Lilya, a pupil at Wollaton’s Fernwood School, has been in the care of Nottingham Children’s Hospital since her diagnosis, and is currently waiting for a bone marrow donation from an unrelated donor, after her family were ruled out as a match.

Nottingham Marrow and Anthony Nolan are joining forces to encourage more people across Nottinghamshire to join the marrow register, giving hope to patients across the region waiting for potentially life-saving donations.

Anyone who is already registered as a blood donor can become part of the marrow register, and a small sample of blood is taken at a donation session.

The bone marrow can be used to treat a wide-range of cancers, as well as help rebuild damaged immune systems.

Anthony Nolan encourages donors from ages 16-30, and donors will be kept on their register until they are 60. People joining the register must:

  • be between 16 and 30 years old
  • be in good health
  • weigh over 7st 12lb (50kg)
  • have a body mass index (BMI) lower than 40

Donors who fulfil all of the eligibility criteria can fill out an application form. A cheek swab will then be taken and tested, before the donor is added to the register.

The events are happening on Wednesday 3 April at the following locations and times:

  • Loxley House 10-3pm
  • Council House 12-7pm – to allow for people signing up after work.
  • Central Library 10-3pm
  • Bulwell Riverside 10-1pm
  • Clifton Library 10-1pm

Further bone marrow donor events will be held on Thursday 4 April and Saturday 6 April in support of Lilya’s campaign.

  • Thursday 4 April
    - University of Nottingham (QMC, Medical School Foyer) 10.30am – 4.30pm
    - University of Nottingham (Student’s Union) 10.30am – 4.30pm
    - Nottingham Trent University (Boots Library) 10.30am – 4.30 pm
  • Saturday 6 April
    - 74 Middle Street, Beeston, 9.00am – 1pm

Interested potential donors over the age of 30 can contact the non-profit organisation DKMS, who accepts blood stem cell donors up to the age of 55. More information can be found at http://www.dkms.org.uk.

For more information about Lilya’s campaign visit https://m.facebook.com/findamatchforLilya/ and follow #findamatchforLilya on Twitter. More information about Bone Marrow Transplants can be found via http://www.anthonynolan.org.