Stem cell donation awareness

Anthony Nolan (pictured) is teaming up with Xercise4less Wigan to raise awareness and funds for stem cell donation head of World Cancer Day

Anthony Nolan (pictured) is teaming up with Xercise4less Wigan to raise awareness and funds for stem cell donation head of World Cancer Day

A charity is kicking off a month-long partnership with a Wigan gym to highlight the importance of stem cell donation, ahead of World Cancer Day.

Xercise4Less in Wigan will offer free guest passes to anyone who donates to the Anthony Nolan Blood Cancer Charity throughout February.

An open weekend is planned for February 4 and 5 to coincide with World Cancer Day, during which the Chapel Lane gym will also donate £1 for every new member that joins to support the charity.

The collaboration comes as the blood cancer group aims to promote its efforts to match potential stem cell donors to blood cancer and blood disorder patients in need of transplants.

It also carries out pioneering research to increase stem cell transplant success, and supports patients through their transplant journeys.

Up to three people a day are given a second chance at life by Anthony Nolan, which was founded in 1974 as the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Register.

Additionally, the charity conducts world-class research into stem cell matching and transplants, to ensure those in need receive the best possible treatments.

As part of the fundraising initiative, very special Challenge Mondays will be taking place through February from 5pm to 8pm. Members can take part for a £1 donation and be in with the chance of winning a three month club membership.

Greg Scott, general manager at Xercise4Less Wigan, commented: “Anthony Nolan does fantastic work and it is a pleasure to be partnering with them.

“This cause is close to our hearts with members of the Xercise4Less team directly affected by blood cancer.

“We hope to see as many gym members becoming involved as possible, to raise much neede funs and awareness for this worthy cause.”

Heather Addicott of the Anthony Nolan Blood Cancer Charity said: “It’s fantastic that Xercise4Less have chosen to partner with us.

“The funds raised will go a long way to helping us provide vital stem cell and bone marrow transplants to those desperately in need.”

The charity’s namesake, Anthony Nolan, was born in 1971 with a rare condition called Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome. The only cure was a bone marrow transplant, but no match was found despite many volunteers.

The events inspired mother Shirley to start a bone marrow register for unrelated donors. Anthony passed away in 1979, aged eight.

Every 20 minutes, someone in the UK is diagnosed with blood cancer in the UK, and it is hoped this partnership will raise awareness of the disease, and how everyday people can help sufferers.

For more information about registering as a stem cell donor, visit anthonynolan.org.

To find out more about the event, visit xercise4less.co.uk