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Anna Turley, Labour MP for Redcar, has backed calls for Government action on blood cancer after a charity revealed one in three transplant patients die within a year of their treatment.

Anna is supporting the Destination: Cure campaign launched by Anthony Nolan, which runs the UK's stem cell and bone marrow donor register.

The charity also revealed one in eight patients in need of a stem cell or bone marrow transplant do not find a donor, and praised the vital contribution of selfless individuals who donate their stem cells and bone marrow.

Anna, who has written to the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP in support of the campaign said:

"Blood cancer patients in need of a lifesaving transplant face very difficult challenges and the Destination: Cure campaign is a very important reminder that we need to do more to help them. That one in three transplant patients die within a year of treatment is a frightening statistic.

"It is absolutely vital that the Government does all it can to support the recruitment of donors, boost scientific research and provide long-term care for patients in need.

"I also urge people to join the donor register, particularly young men who are currently under-represented. If you are aged 16-30 and in good health you can become a lifesaver."

In the next five years, over 11,000 people with blood cancer or a blood disorder will depend upon a stem cell transplant from a stranger.

Anthony Nolan's Destination Cure campaign aims to save the lives of each of these people, by calling for more investment into the donor register, more pioneering research, and better post-transplant care.

Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said: 

"For people in need of a bone marrow or stem cell transplant, finding a matching donor is a potentially lifesaving milestone and usually their only hope of survival.

"Every day, selfless individuals give these patients a fighting chance by donating their stem cells. But heartbreakingly, for every two people who are alive a year after their transplant, there is one person who is not.

"We need the government to act now to accelerate research into why some patients survive and others do not, so that the precious chance of life provided by the donor is not wasted. The odds are not good enough and we will not stop fighting until we reach our destination of a cure for everyone with blood cancer.

The charity is now asking the public to back the Destination: Cure campaign to improve outcomes for transplant patients and accelerate scientific research at: www.anthonynolan.org/destinationcure

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