Saturday 28 May is World Blood Cancer Day – and it’s also the day when Blood Cancer UK’s Western Isles branch will take over the library’s social space in the quest for new donors.
Saturday’s donor drive is the latest initiative from a new branch of the national charity, founded just over a year ago and already generating funds and donor registrations across the isles.
It’s set to be a busy day in Stornoway, with the half marathon, 10k and fun run in the Castle Grounds, so local organisers are hopeful they’ll get plenty of interest in the lifesaving work.
Local organising committee member Jaclyn Campbell explained that the register for blood stem cell donors is kept by a charity called DKMS, which manages an international list of people prepared to be matched if their blood stem cells could help someone else survive blood cancer.
Jaclyn said: “DKMS stands for Deutsche Knochenmarksspenderdatei, which is the German bone marrow donor centre.
“Although DKMS was founded in Germany in 1991, it has since extended its work across the world, with registers in the UK, South America, India, Africa and European countries such as Poland.
“Blood Cancer UK decided to use the same name for the register everywhere to make it identifiable worldwide as a single organisation, working towards the same goal of giving as many blood cancer patients as possible a second chance of life.
“On Saturday we’re looking for anyone over 18 and under 55, in general good health, to register with a simple mouth swab, and we’ll have plenty of information available about what being a donor could mean, for you and for other people.
“If you’re passing between 10.30am and 3pm, call in and say hello, and maybe find out a bit more about the importance of blood stem cell donors.”