Born in 1971 with an inherited rare blood disorder, for which a bone-marrow transplant would have been the only cure, Anthony sadly died in 1979 because a suitable non-related donor could not be found in time to save him.
The name of Anthony Nolan lives on through the Anthony Nolan Register of potential bone marrow donors set up by his mother, Shirley Nolan, in 1974. This was the first such register in the world, created specifically to connect unrelated donors with patients like her son.
Back in 1986, Southwell Round Table, with the assistance of local GP, Dr David Fenton, took part in a major recruitment push by Round Table nationally, leading to the signing up of 100,000 potential donors in just six weeks. Now, 46 years after the Register was created, the Anthony Nolan charity goes from strength to strength with the Register exceeding some 750,000 potential donors.
To join the Register you need to be in good health and between the ages of 16 and 30. If selected you can remain on the Register until you are 60. A simple cheek swab is used to collect the genetic information of potential donors. Now, if chosen as a match for a needy recipient, stem cells are collected rather than bone marrow, which is a much simpler procedure, quite like giving blood.
The cost of recruiting one person to the Register is £40. Pictured (above) is the outgoing President of Southwell Rotary Club, Stephen Littlewood, handing over a cheque for £500 to Joe Graffoe at the Anthony Nolan headquarters in London last month. This donation will cover the cost of 12 new recruits. If you are between the ages of 16 and 30 and prepared to join the Register, please contact Stephen on 07771 757 601, or any member of Southwell Rotary Club, www.southwell.org.uk , they will be pleased to assist with the necessary arrangements.
Published July 2020