Students at the University of Leicester swapped their pens and lectures, for a swab and a signature at the Leicester Heroes Day as campaigners aim to get more young people on the stem cell donor register which helps treat blood cancer patients.
Leicester Heroes was a collaboration between Leicester charity The Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign, the University of Leicester and a number of local sixth form colleges. The aim was to recruit more youngsters aged 16 to 30 to the UK stem cell registry run by Anthony Nolan.
Rik Basra, co-founder of the Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign, said:
“If you’re a student, aged between 16 and 30 and over 50 kilos you can sign up and potentially save a life.”
Rik helped set up the charity after he was diagnosed with Leukaemia:
“I needed a stem cell transplant to survive but there’s a massive shortage [of donors], not just in the UK but in the world.
“Just four per cent of the UK stem cell register is made up of minority donors so my chances of finding a donor nosedived.
“Events like today are all about doing something about that issue”, Rik told Pukaar News.
Leicester Heroes signed up an incredible 1415 lifesavers; each has the potential to be someone’s hero in the coming years and save a life.