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Anie’s journey with Anthony Nolan

In April 2018, FDM announced their charity partnership with Anthony Nolan, a UK charity dedicated to saving the lives of people with blood cancer and blood disorders.

One of the key challenges Anthony Nolan faces is the inequality in donor provision between white Northern European patients and those from BAME backgrounds. Whilst 60% of transplant recipients receive the best match, this drops to just 20.5% if you’re from a BAME background. As a diverse and inclusive organisation, FDM recognised that we can work with Anthony Nolan to overcome this challenge and expand and diversify the donor register.

Anie from York Marrow, a student-led society of Anthony Nolan, came to our Leeds Academy to deliver a presentation on her experience with cancer and receiving a stem cell transplant. Anie fell ill at the age of 17, recalling how “the doctor said some of the worst words you could ever hear, you have cancer”.  Anie then faced an unnerving wait to find a suitable donor and after nine long months, Anie was still without a match and getting weaker. She had little choice but to receive marrow from her dad who was just a 55% match, falling far below the recommended figure. Thankfully Anie is still with us today, but her story sheds light on the desperate need for donors from a BAME background. With 79.5% of individuals unable to find the best match, the need for more donors is as important as ever.

Anie’s presentation was received with teary eyes from the audience as they acknowledged the often harsh reality of finding a match. Many attendees commented on the shocking difficulty in finding a match from a BAME background, saying they had not realised the inequality in patient outcomes. Everyone was keen to get involved, taking away information on how to become a donor. If you want to join the register and potentially give someone a second chance at life, you can sign up today.

Finally, a few words from Charlotte, Anthony Nolan Education Programme Lead, who also attended the event:

“Anie’s story reflects a challenge which FDM Group is helping to solve by partnering with Anthony Nolan. Coming from a BAME background Anie was not able to find a donor on the register and had to rely on a donation from her father with just a 50/50 chance of survival. FDM hires over 1000 graduates every year, many of whom are from BAME backgrounds, so together we can raise funds and recruit donors on to the register to ensure we can give a second chance of life to everyone who needs a stem cell transplant. It was great to be able to speak to the FDMers in Leeds last week and spread the word about how they can help to save and improve the lives of people with blood cancer.”

We are very thankful for Anie and Charlotte’s time which resulted in a number of donor registrations and a heightened awareness of the need for more donors from a BAME background.

For more information on the FDM Anthony Nolan partnership, please email [email protected]

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