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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Charity inundated with interest

A UK blood cancer charity which Alice Pyne championed has been inundated with interest in its work following her death.

Anthony Nolan received nine times its usual number of website hits on Sunday as people woke up to the news of Alice’s passing.

The charity, which matches bone marrow donors with those in need of donations, had 4,500 hits on Sunday.

On the evening of Alice’s appearance on the Pride of Britain Awards, where she was named Teenager of Courage, 1,336 people joined the Anthony Nolan register, compared to an average application rate of 50. On Sunday, 370 applications were registered.

Alice’s bucket list priority was getting “everyone eligible to join a bone marrow register” and she also campaigned to get the age limit lowered from 18 to 16.

Alice met prime minister David Cameron on a number of occasions, and in 2011 she spoke with Mr Cameron at Downing Street about the importance of people joining the register.

At the time Alice said: “It has been an amazing day – David Cameron and Ed Miliband were both really keen to do more to raise the profile of this campaign.

“I was nervous before both meetings but they were both friendly and said they were determined to help get more bone marrow donors signed up.

“Of all the amazing things I have ticked off my bucket list, this is the one I am most proud of. If the prime minister and Ed Miliband can act, we really can save lives.”

Anyone aged 16 to 30 can join the register. More information is available at www.anthonynolan.org. Those aged 18 to 49 can join the British Bone Marrow Register, a division of NHS Blood and Transplant, which works with Anthony Nolan and the NHS Cord Blood Bank.

More details are available at www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/bonemarrow/.

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