Anthony Nolan Awareness Day at RAF Halton

Sergeant Chris King from the Airmen’s Command Squadron (ACS) at RAF Halton has been raising awareness of the Anthony Nolan Trust by arranging a visit from the team who assess the suitability of a person to donate bone marrow. The test which involves a mouth swab took place in the coffee bar in Kermode Hall with personnel joining the queue to be tested.

Chris said: “I helped out at Anthony Nolan events at my previous unit, RAF Marham, in order to support personnel who needed help from the Anthony Nolan charity. One of my colleagues was on the register and was a match for a person who required a bone marrow donation, so I have seen how it works and how people can help out by doing the smallest thing.

My main goal is to raise awareness of their work around RAF Halton and the wider Air Force, but also to get individuals to sign up to the bone marrow register, so that they may one day be in a position to help someone else. I invited Sara Roulstone, the Anthony Nolan co-ordinator for this area, to come along and hold a clinic. Just a simple saliva test is all that it takes”

In 1974, and with her three-year-old son Anthony in urgent need of a bone marrow transplant, Shirley Nolan set up the world’s first register to match donors with people in desperate need. Today many thousands of people need help and the criteria to join the register is between the age of 16 to 30 but you can be added to the national register through the National Blood Service up to the age of 49 and the Delete Blood Cancer Charity up until 55 years of age.

There are two ways to donate, one being by blood and the other by bone marrow. The blood donation is quick and painless and used in 90% of donations, it entails the donor being given an injection for four days beforehand to stimulate cells. The bone marrow donation is done under anaesthetic after a two day stay in hospital, both require rest to aid recuperation.

If anyone would like to be tested and join the register they can call the Donor Support Team on 03033030303 or watch their animation about donating at