Teens sign up as stem cell donors in record numbers

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Teens sign up as stem cell donors in record numbers

Youngsters taking part on Israel programmes this summer add their names to the Anthony Nolan register at sessions organised by the Sue Harris Trust

Scores of teenagers taking part in summer Israel tours have signed up as stem cell donors, via the Sue Harris Trust.

ln partnership with the Anthony Nolan register, the Trust held a “swabbing” event for people going on tour with FZY — and a record 84 per cent registered to take part.

Other youth movements such as Bnei Akiva, Liberal Jewish Youth, Noam, Reform Synagogues Youth and TRIBE, the youth arm of the United Synagogue, have responded in similar high numbers. In the first week of this year’s Israel Tour, 237 teenagers have signed up.

Natalie Deller, the Sue Harris Trust co-ordinator, said: “It’s so heartening to see the tremendous response from Israel Tour participants this year, as we know lives will be saved by their efforts”. Recruitment on previous Israel Tours has resulted in stem cell donors being found for patients with blood cancer.

Sue Harris was a young British Jewish law student who launched a campaign to find matching donors for blood cancer patients after she was diagnosed with the condition in 1992. Sadly she died in 1997, before a successful transplant could be carried out, but the campaign has continued in her name with rising success rates in matching donors with patients.

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