Manchester campaigners hail ‘lifesaving’ umbilical cord collection centre
Have a baby, cure blood cancer: how mums-to-be in
Manchester can save a life, thanks to new Anthony Nolan
New mums in Manchester now have the opportunity to give life
twice in one day, by donating their umbilical cord blood to someone
in desperate need of a stem cell transplant.
Pioneering blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan has opened a new
cord blood collection centre in Saint Mary's Hospital in
Manchester, thanks to funding from the Government's Regional Growth
Fund. It means that pregnant women in the city could save a life,
simply by donating something that is normally thrown away - with no
hassle or risk to the mother or baby.
The news has been hailed as a victory for local campaigners, who
have been calling for a Manchester centre for years.
Paula Solomon from Manchester embarked on a campaign after being
told her son Martin, who was originally diagnosed with Hodgkin's
Lymphoma in 2007 and then relapsed five years later, would need a
lifesaving stem cell transplant. Cord blood would be his best
option, according to the experts.
Mrs Solomon and her local MP, the late Paul Goggins, were
pivotal in pushing for improvements to stem cell collection
facilities in her home city of Manchester.
Paula said: 'It's impossible to put into words what this centre
means to us. Martin is in remission and I pray he always will
be. But if he does relapse again, we've been told cord blood would
be a better option for Martin than an adult stem cell donor, given
his ethnic origin and complex DNA. I know that most new mums would
love the opportunity to save the life of a person like Martin, so
it is amazing that women in Manchester have now been given this
Collection of cord blood is vital in the fight against blood
cancers such as leukaemia. For many people with these conditions, a
stem cell transplant is their only hope of a cure. The blood from
umbilical cords is rich in potentially life-saving stem cells that
can be used in a transplant, but all too often is discarded.
The centre at Saint Mary's Hospital is the latest in an
initiative by Anthony Nolan to open three new centres in the UK,
thanks to the £1.7 million funding from the Government's Regional
Anthony Nolan chose Manchester as a base for the new centre due
to the city's wide ethnic mix and high birth rates.
Dr Ed Johnstone, a clinical senior lecturer at Saint Mary's
Hospital who has been instrumental in helping Anthony
Nolan set up the centre, has said: 'It is wonderful to see
everyone's hard work come to fruition. The establishment
of the cord collection centre at Saint Mary's will be
life-changing for many families, particularly those from black and
ethnic minority communities, who have less chance of finding an
adult donor through the register.'
Anthony Nolan is now urging pregnant women who are due to give
birth at Saint Mary's to donate their umbilical cord blood.
Diane Davies, Midwife Supervisor for Anthony Nolan's new cord
blood collection programme in Manchester, said: 'Many pregnant
women are surprised to find out that it's so simple to donate their
cord blood and that it doesn't affect the birth of their baby at
all. In fact, most women say they hardly even know we're there and
that it can make their day even more special in the knowledge that
their newborn baby could be giving someone else a chance of
If you are pregnant and plan to have your baby at Saint Mary's
Hospital, find out more about donating your cord blood at www.anthonynolan.org/cord
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, contact Emily Rosselli at Anthony Nolan on
or 0207 4246 588. For urgent out of hours enquiries, call 0844 840
0103 or email email@example.com.
About Anthony Nolan
- Anthony Nolan is a pioneering blood cancer charity that matches
potential bone marrow donors to blood cancer patients in desperate
need of a bone marrow transplant
- Shirley Nolan, whose son Anthony needed a transplant, set up
the world's first bone marrow register in 1974. The charity is now
celebrating its 40th anniversary
- Please note: Anthony Nolan has dropped the 'Trust' from its
- Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood
- Around 1,800 people in the UK need a bone marrow (or stem cell)
transplant each year. This is usually their last chance of
- 63% of UK patients will not find a matching donor from within
their families; instead they turn to us to find them an unrelated
- We want to find a match for everyone who needs a transplant.
Cord blood can help us achieve this.
About Anthony Nolan's cord blood programme
Anthony Nolan collects cord blood at hospitals in Manchester,
London, Birmingham, Nottingham and Leicester. We work closely with
the NHS cord programme to make sure that, together, we're meeting
the UK need for cord blood.
For more information, go to www.anthonynolan.org/cord.
About the Government's Regional Growth Fund
The Government's Regional Growth Fund is a
£3.2 billion fund designed to help companies in England to grow and
supports projects and programmes committed to deliver sustainable
jobs and economic growth. A sixth round will launch
in summer. For more information, please go to www.bis.gov.uk/rgf.