On 17 October 2018 Member of Parliament for Stockton North, Alex Cunningham showed his support for the fight against blood cancer by raising awareness of the need for more blood stem cell donors as a potential lifesaver with DKMS.
Alex, supported DKMS at an event organised by fellow MP, Mike Wood, at the House of Commons. Mike joined forces with the blood cancer charity to hold the event, following his own personal experience of contracting septicaemia (sepsis), a type of blood poisoning, in 2017.
Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer, such as leukaemia. Combined, blood cancers are the third most common cause of cancer death in the UK, but less than half of the UK population is aware of blood cancer issues. Although for most people there is no single cure, a blood stem cell donation from a genetically similar person can offer the best treatment.
Despite stats showing that 27,027 people from the North East have registered as blood stem cell donors with DKMS, the region is still falling short of potential lifesavers. Of those registered in the North East, only 7.7 percent are from the County Durham region.
“Currently, only six out of 10 blood cancer patients in the UK find an unrelated matching blood stem cell donor. That’s why I am supporting DKMS in the fight against blood cancer and would urge others in my constituency who are eligible to do the same. I would like to thank Mike for bringing this important cause to my attention.”
Mike Wood MP for Dudley South, who also registered as a potential blood stem cell donor said: “I was delighted to see MPs from all sides come together to register as potential lifesavers and show their support for people with blood cancers and disorders. Alex Cunningham has sent an important message to his constituents in Stockton North, that he is committed to the fight against blood cancer and has played an important role in helping to raise awareness.”
Lisa Nugent, Head of Donor Recruitment at DKMS said:
“Thanks to Mike and Alex for their support in helping us raise awareness of the important work that we do in registering more potential blood stem cell donors. We are grateful to everyone who registered on the day and took the time to support the cause.
“Anyone that’s aged between 17-55 and in general good health can register online at dkms.org.uk for their home swab kit. There could be a lifesaver in you.”