Gateshead Millennium Bridge lit up for student-led stem cell campaign

Joe Molander on the event for Anthony Nolan and Marrow

Joe Molander
19th March 2021
Image: Joe Molander
The Gateshead Millennium Bridge was lit up green and blue on Thursday for the Anthony Nolan charity and the Newcastle branch of its student group, Marrow. The event was held in memorial for Maisie Ryan, one of the charity’s volunteers and a Newcastle University alumna who passed away in February.

The event ran until 2am on Friday: the green represented Anthony Nolan, and the blue represented Marrow.

The event was also part of a fortnight-long campaign run by both organisations. Running from Monday 15-29 March, the campaign aims to encourage more young men to sign up to the stem cell register.

This is central to the aim of Anthony Nolan, which works in healthcare. The charity matches stem cell or bone marrow donors with people suffering from leukaemia and blood disorders in need of transplants.

Despite being most likely to be chosen for a transplant, young men comprise just 18% of the donor register.

Chloe Twistleton, President of Newcastle Marrow, explained that “Newcastle Marrow are really excited to be part of this campaign. It’s a great opportunity to rally together the local community and spread the message of Anthony Nolan and why it’s so important to sign up to the stem cell register.”

Talking to The Courier, Newcastle Marrow Fundraising Coordinator Jack White said he hoped that more people, particularly university students, would sign up to the register.

“It takes all of five minutes and you can save a life.”

Newcastle Marrow Volunteer Coordinator Amy Halliwell added “The eventual aim is anyone who needs a match can find a match.”

Maisie Ryan died at just 27 in a vehicle collision. After working with Marrow at university, she went onto work with the group’s national committee.

A JustGiving page was set up in her name following her death to raise money for Anthony Nolan, which has currently raised £15 890.

Speaking of the Millennium Bridge event, Chloe Twistleton told The Courier “she’d be so proud”.

Anthony Nolan points out that as well as there being a shortage of male donors, there is also a shortage of ethnic minority donors. 71% of White Caucasian transplant recipients receive their best match, compared to just 37% of non-White transplant recipients.

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AUTHOR: Joe Molander
Head of Current Affairs and co-founder of The Toon Lampoon. Politics, interviews, satire and the Courier's leading authority on frosted tips. @JoeMolander on Twitter and full portfolio available on Muckrack.

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