Hannah Smith recently donated her stem cells to a person she’s never met before.

Students help to save lives through stem cell donations

Cornish students are hoping to save lives by donating their stem cells to strangers fighting cancer.

A campaign set up to help students at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus to “do good” has resulted in two people working with the charity Anthony Nolan to support treatment of ill people.

Hannah Smith, who graduated with a degree in Zoology last month, recently donated her stem cells to a person she’s never met before. She has followed in the footsteps of another graduate who donated last year.

After taking part in the FXU Islamic Society’s donor registration drive for Anthony Nolan two years ago, Hannah was contacted in January 2017 and told she was a match. Earlier this summer she went to a private hospital in London to donate her stem cells.

Sajjad Jabarkhel, Islamic Society President said: “The donor registration drive was part of our Believe and Do Good week, an international campaign focusing on giving back to the community. You never get to know how it impacts someone’s life and we always hope that it makes a difference.”

Whilst donating Hannah was visited by Anthony Nolan volunteer Supanya whose daughter, Lara, received a stem cell donation over a year ago. They have just been able to have their first family holiday in years, as Lara was well enough to travel.

Hannah Smith said: “It was really easy to sign up to the Anthony Nolan register, all I had to do was spit in a cup! The donation itself was pretty painless, the hardest part was sitting still for four hours. I would definitely recommend people sign up to the register, it’s so easy to do and you could save someone’s life.”

Hannah won’t know the outcome of the donation unless the recipient gets in contact with her, but it could potentially save their life.

Karen Archer, Regional Register Development Manager at Anthony Nolan, says: “Hannah has done an incredibly selfless thing and given someone with blood cancer their best chance at survival. We particularly need young men to join the register as they are the most likely to be chosen to donate.”

Date: 8 August 2017

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