Over 100 school pupils from the Anderson High School have signed up as potential lifesavers after hearing of a partnership between the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan Trust.
Orkney-based Station Commander Dougie Campbell paid a visit to the school this week to tell youngsters about the service’s link with the charity.
The partnership works in schools across Scotland – educating youngsters about the need for more stem cell donors while dispelling myths around stem cell donation.
Eligible students are also given the opportunity to register.
A period of reflection was given and pupils urged to speak to parents or carers before making a decision.
Twenty-three S5 pupils came forward as “champions” to organise a registration event.
And it proved worthwhile. In the end, 137 pupils came forward to put their names on a register, making themselves available for stem cell donations should they be required.
Finding matches for patients is said to be very difficult, with only a one in 800 chance of someone on the register being found to be a match for a patient.
The majority of donations – 90 per cent – are made through a simple outpatient procedure similar to giving blood.
Donors, in giving a second chance of life, are always said to reproduce everything they donate in a a very short space of time.