You can give a family the ultimate Christmas gift

It costs nothing and only takes 15 minutes but you can ensure a family has the ultimate Christmas gift. Christmas […]

Matt Bodell
25 December 2017

It costs nothing and only takes 15 minutes but you can ensure a family has the ultimate Christmas gift.

Christmas is a time we all want to spend with our family but each year thousands of people, sadly, don’t survive to spend it with there’s. In just 15 minutes you can ensure a family has the ultimate Christmas gift – Time with their loved ones.


You can help in three ways; register to become a blood donor, register to become an organ donor or signup to donate stem cells – or all three!

Register to become a Blood Donor

Most people can give blood. You can give blood if you:

  • are fit and healthy
  • weigh between 7 stone 12 lbs and 25 stone, or 50kg and 160kg
  • are aged between 17 and 66 (or 70 if you have given blood before)
  • are over 70 and have given blood in the last two years

How often can I give blood?

Men can give blood every 12 weeks and women can give blood every 16 weeks.


Check you are able to give blood

You can check some of the most common eligibility questions we receive from blood donors.

If you have a health condition, have travelled out of the country recently, or if you answer “yes” to any question on your Donor Health Check questionnaire, please call 0300 123 23 23 or check the health & eligibility or travel section for further advice about whether this affects you donating blood.

The common reasons donors should check if they can give blood are:

  • if you are receiving medical or hospital treatment
  • if you are taking medication
  • after travelling outside of the UK
  • after having a tattoo or piercing
  • during and after pregnancy
  • if you feel ill
  • if you have cancer
  • after receiving blood, blood products or organs.

If you have any questions then contact us by completing a web form or call us on 0300 123 23 23.


Join the Organ Donation Register

Doctors will always prioritise saving your life – not someone else’s.

If you want to save lives, register to be a donor. It only takes two minutes, but it is important to tell your family you have done so. Don’t leave it too late to talk about organ donation. Many people don’t realise that their family’s support is needed for organ donation to go ahead.

Your family won’t know how you feel about organ donation unless you talk about it.

Here are 5 reasons to donate

  1. Organ donation saves lives but there is a shortage of donors. You can make an extraordinary difference
  2. One organ donor can save or transform up to nine lives
  3. Patients are dying while organs are going to waste
  4. Even if your organs can’t be used, you could still help others by donating sight
  5. Leave your family feeling proud that you saved lives

Joining the organ donation register takes no more than 2 minutes.


Register to donate Stem cells

If you’re between 16 – 30 and in good health, you can sign up to the Anthony Nolan register (you’ll stay on it until you turn 60). We’ll send you a swab pack in the post so that you can do a cheeky swab and send it back to us.

If you’re over 30, you can find out about the UK’s other registries and alternative ways to help here.

Whenever a patient with blood cancer or a blood disorder needs a lifesaving stem cell transplant, we search the register, looking for someone who’s a genetic match for that patient. If you’re a match, we’ll be in touch, and we’ll ask you to donate if you’re still healthy and happy to do so.

What does donating involve?

9 out of 10 people donate their stem cells via the bloodstream, in a straightforward process called peripheral blood stem cell collection.

1 in 10 donors will have their stem cells collected via the bone marrow itself, while under general anaesthetic.

Does it hurt to donate bone marrow or stem cells?

Short answer – no. We’ve spoken to countless donors who only have positive things to say about the experience, but you can read more about how it feels to donate stem cells or bone marrow here.

You can also click here to read just a few stories from people who’ve donated, and see some videos here.

How else can I help?

If you’re not eligible to join the register, don’t worry – there are plenty of other amazing ways you can support our work and help save lives. You could run a marathon, go skydiving, volunteer with us, or even lobby your local MP on behalf of people with blood cancer and blood disorders in desperate need. Take a look here for more details.

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