Bone Marrow Transplantation
The Jewish Medical Association UK is justly proud of the fact that the UK Jewish community has played an important part in promoting bone marrow transplantation, and in particular in ensuring that members of the community sign on with the Bone Marrow Transplant Registry which is maintained by the Anthony Nolan Trust.
All that is now required to join this Registry is to complete some details on a form and submit it so that potential donors can receive a receptacle for a spit sample.
Once a sample has been sent to the Trust it will provide enough information for them to determine the “tissue type” – which in turn enables them to decide if there is a “match” with someone who needs this form of treatment.
A major impetus for Jewish participation in the Registry was a remarkable and courageous young member of our community, Sue Harris, who needed a transplant 20 years ago. Despite a campaign in which thousands were screened in the hope of finding a bone marrow match to her rare tissue type she died in 1997. In her memory the Trust continues to promote the initiative she started.
Key places where one can find more information about how to register is on the Sue Harris Trust website: http://sueharristrust.org/. Further information is available from 0207 3528788.
Alternatively you can also access the Anthony Nolan Trust directly via their website: www.anthonynolan.org
Furthermore another way to be “tissue typed” for people who are blood donors already is to contact NHS Blood and Transplant – details how to do this can be found at www.nhsbt.nhs.uk. A small additional sample will be taken when blood is next donated, and the results will be linked to the Anthony Nolan Registry.