I love university life. I miss it. It’s 16 years since I left but it was such a brilliant time that I’ve never forgotten how great it was.
I love it even more when I get the chance to visit one and usually I wander around pretending I’m an undergraduate again, carefree and full of enthusiasm for the world. So I was just a little bit jealous this week when my husband got to do just that very thing.
Except he didn’t walk around aimlessly in a dream world, fantasising about drunken nights at the union or lectures on Renaissance literature. That would actually be his worst nightmare (we’re quite different!). No he visited the lovely University of Bath where a few months ago he met with a representative from Anthony Nolan to discuss the possibility of setting up a ‘Marrow Group’ with some willing students.
Fast forward and this week saw one of the first Bath Uni marrow group events. A selection of keen student volunteers hung outside the library enlightening others about the benefits and ease of donating your marrow these days. Apparently all you have to do is literally ‘give a spit’ and you’re on the register, ready for one of the 2000 transplants that take place every year in the UK. More importantly you might even get to save a life one day.
In recent years Antony Nolan has been campaigning for more young adults under the age of 30 to donate. This section of society tend to have less underlying long-term health conditions of their own which could potentially delay donation. Yet shockingly they only make up around 15% of the register. The more we raise awareness with this group about the importance of donation, the better chances those awaiting a transplant (like my lovely hubby) have of surviving.
Seeing the photographs of my smiling husband and the crew of volunteers in their ‘Give a Spit/ Save a Life’ t shirts, holding their big sponge fingers filled me once again with a sprinkle of pride and a big dollop of hope. This kind of work is so vital to charities like Anthony Nolan who rely on both donations and goodwill. They work tirelessly to encourage people to sign up to the register and make lifesaving matches possible.
They give families like ours a lifeline.
141 people signed up on Tuesday. That’s potentially another 141 people who could be saved in the future.
Not a bad day’s work for the Bath marrow crew. Pretty flaming remarkable actually. Keep up the good work guys!