Fundraising for blood cancer research: An interview with Lancaster Marrow
‘The society offers key roles in planning, organisation and administration’
As lockdown is slowly crawling towards its end, and cases begin to drop with vaccinations increasing, societies have begun to pick up their efforts to bring in new members. Medical donations have been on a severe decrease since COVID-19 began, with marrow donors being one of the most hard-hit areas. This doesn’t mean that donor sign-ups should cease. Enter Lancaster Marrow: Lancaster’s very own society dedicated to increasing marrow donations in the Lancashire area.
“We help to educate the student body and raise funding for ground-breaking research”
Before the pandemic struck, Lancaster Marrow was known for promoting the Anthony Nolan charity on campus and encouraging students to sign up to become marrow donors. Their mission is to provide lifesaving transplants through matching patients that are in need of blood, stem cells or bone marrow, to donors.
Lancaster Marrow said: “We help to educate the student body and raise funding for ground-breaking research to improve the lives of people with blood cancer. We also aim to recruit new donors, by joining the Anthony Nolan register.
“It was created in 1974 when a little boy called Anthony was admitted to hospital needing a bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately, no match was found in time for Anthony but since the charity’s creation more than 750,000 people have joined the register.”
“We are hoping to hold a big event in April to raise some money and awareness”
As we cross our fingers that this national lockdown will be the last, the societies within Lancs Uni have been intensifying efforts to promote themselves to more students online. Lancaster Marrow told us about their continual efforts to gain donors, volunteers and members through the promotion of local volunteer stories and competitions, including their fancy-dress competition during their “Marroween” campaign in October 2020.
They also continue to create posts to raise “awareness of the Anthony Nolan charity, including patient and donor stories.” This year, these various stories have centred around increasing donors in male and minority groups.
Additionally, Lancaster Marrow said: “We are hoping to hold a big event in April to raise some money and awareness, people can find out more on our social media.”
The national restrictions have meant that all of the recruitment events have had to be remote, and this has caused engagements with students to be a struggle. This has reduced the number of stem cell donors available for people with blood cancers. However, in true Lancs uni fashion, other societies have been enthusiastic in helping each other with their causes, with over 30 societies helping Lancaster Marrow with promotions and collaborations.
“We regularly promote other society’s work in return for the promotion of our own”
On social media, the society regularly posts about stem cell donation and donor stories to inspire and persuade people to be potential life-savers. They also have a recruitment group chat where you can show support to Lancaster Marrow.
Lancaster Marrow stated that they have formed inter-societal connections, in which they stated: “We regularly promote other society’s work in return for the promotion of our own. This allows us to reach more people and grow as a society. We plan to encourage more connections and join with other Marrow societies in the country.”
“The society offers key roles in planning, organisation and administration”
In response to why Lancaster students should join their society, Lancaster Marrow said: “For students aiming to develop a strong CV’s and skill set, ready for the world of work, the society offers key roles in planning, organisation and administration.
“As a society that regularly draws in medics, there is also a pathway to developing a better understanding of bone cancer and its treatment, as well as learning about the stories of patients on transplant waiting lists.”
“This year’s lack of an inclusive, online fresher’s event has affected the number of new members”
Lancaster Marrow has had its struggles with LUSU, especially with the availability of on campus promotions. Lancaster Marrow said: “This year’s lack of an inclusive, online fresher’s event has affected the number of new members as most people usually join at this time. Alternatively, the medic fresher’s event demonstrated an ideal format to showcase all of the societies equally and spread the word of all the amazing word the Anthony Nolan charity does.”
If the Lancaster Marrow sounds like a society you would like to get involved with, make sure to get in touch with them to be a part of this incredible initiative.