The Race Against Blood Cancer team returned to Shropshire on Friday 22nd January for a donor drive at Telford College of Arts & Technology (TCAT).
While still early in the morning, the team was full of optimism and determined to beat the previous record held by PHD Media of 131 donor registrations achieved in one drive.
The day kicked off to a great start in the TCAT’s dance studio where the team was stationed, with a constant flow of visitors keen to sign up as stem cell donors. Queues even went up to 30 minutes at one point despite having 12 volunteers in full pace registering the participants and walking them through the process.
But the overall enthusiasm remained really high. Having been chosen as one of the college’s official charities for 2016, the team were particularly encouraged by how welcome they were made to feel by staff, students and a very special guest – Paralympic Gold medalist Mickey Bushell.
Once a TCAT student himself, Mickey dropped in to show his support in the charity’s fight against blood cancer – “I was happy to be invited over today and see the charity’s great work. I encourage everyone to join the Race Against Blood Cancer. It’s such a great cause and a simple process which can lead to you saving someone’s life.”
And after an amazing day and 5 hours of frantic swabbing, the team managed to break the record, registering 147 new stem cell and bone marrow donor registrations in one drive.
We would like to thank the amazing team of volunteers – Joe Bates, Emma Brown, Natasha Brown, Gail Fisk, Connor Holbrook, Bethan Brown, Jason Cook, Ben Westwood, Carol Goodfellow, Sarah Drummond and Devon Peart – and everyone who came down to support and sign up on the day. This wouldn’t have been possible without you.
And finally, a special thanks to Lauren Harris the Enrichment Coordinator at TCAT who helped organise the event in the first place and eagerly supported the team throughout the day. We hope to be invited back again next year!