Firefighters recruit 95 potential lifesavers from Kilmarnock school

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SFRS officers' drive for charity partner Anthony Nolan one of the best ever as huge number of senior Grange Academy pupils signed-up for the bone marrow register

Anthony Nolan KilmarnockABOVE: Left-to-right - (back) East Ayrshire Council chief executive Fiona Lees, Grange Academy head teacher Robert Johnsto0 and Anthony Nolan volunteer Jim McDermott; (front) Izzy Faure, Paige McGregor and Watch Manager Mark Conlon.

Firefighters have praised Kilmarnock youngsters for their commitment to help save people with life-threatening blood cancers.

Ninety-five senior pupils at Grange Academy signed-up for the bone marrow register following a presentation made by a Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) officer on behalf of its charity partner, Anthony Nolan.

The alliance between the two organisations aims to make young people aware they could save the lives of people, including children, suffering from conditions like leukaemia.

Signing-up for the bone marrow register only involves providing a small sample of saliva, which is used to identify potential matches for someone needing donated stem cells to give them a chance of recovery.

Group Manager Ian McMeekin explained: “Research has shown that young adults make the best donors because there is a far higher chance that the recipient’s immune system will accept their cells.

“Around 30,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with blood cancer every year. It can happen to anyone and one type of blood cancer – leukemia – is the single most common cancer in children.

“By stepping forward to join the bone marrow register the young people from Grange Academy could ultimately save someone’s life.”

He added: “For nearly a hundred teenagers to want to do what they can to potentially help a complete stranger is incredibly impressive and they really are a credit to their community.”

Providing a sample of saliva allows the charity to test long strands of DNA and search for a potential match with someone in need of a transplant.

To find out what you can do to save the life of someone with a life-threatening condition, visit www.anthonynolan.org/What-you-can-do.aspx.

Councillor Stephanie Primrose, East Ayrshire Council's cabinet member for skills and learning, said: “I am so proud of our young people from Grange Academy.

"It shows great maturity to sign up for the bone marrow register and to recognise that they could save someone’s life.

“Anthony Nolan is an excellent charity which provides a lifesaving service to thousands of people every year.

"By supporting this charity our young people are proving themselves to be a credit to their school, their parents and their community.”

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