Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Kicking an old 'un when he's down

As I was travelling to work this morning, I inwardly declared that today was the day to get on with my big idea.

I was talking to Mags' charming mum Moira on Sunday evening, and mentioned that I'd been considering joining the Anthony Nolan register.

Prior to Mags getting ill three years ago, I hadn't heard of Anthony Nolan, a remarkable charity that saves the lives of people with blood cancer who need a blood stem cell or bone marrow transplant. 

But Mags told me all about it and, when she had her first bout of leukaemia, Anthony Nolan saved her life when she was matched with a donor and had a successful bone marrow transplant.  That was one of the many reasons why her death was so shocking and so cruel after her illness returned, because it wasn't supposed to be like that.

However, back to Sunday and me telling Moira of my heroic plan. 

"Well, you'd better hurry up!" she announced.

"Erm...OK. Why the rush?"

"Because when you reach 45, you're no good to them!"

"Really? Why?!"

"Because you're too old!"

How dare she.

So, as I was having my lunchtime sandwiches today, I decided to find out what I needed to do to get on with things.

The answer?  Find myself a time machine.

When I went on to Anthony Nolan's website I discovered that Moira was a touch out when she said that 45 was the cut off age for usefulness.  Or she would've been a touch out until very recently. 

To quote from the website:

"Anthony Nolan is changing the age criteria for joining its donor register from 18-40 to 16-30."


The website, under FAQs, proceeded to answer my burning question, i.e. "Why are you recruiting younger donors?" with "Due to scientific, medical and resource reasons."

It then continued to humiliate me with some detailed bullet points:

  • Lowering the average age of our register will help Anthony Nolan save more lives
  • Younger people make the most successful donors for patients with blood cancer
  • Doctors will always choose a younger donor if they are available
  • Older donors are more likely to have developed age-related conditions which may mean they cannot donate
  • The health of our donors is a priority for Anthony Nolan so we want to provide the healthiest donors for patients
  • As a charity, we must spend our resources on recruiting the people who will be the best possible donors for patients with blood cancer
  • It costs £100 to add each donor to our register so we must recruit the people most likely to be chosen as donors, who will remain on our register for the longest time."    

Or, in short and this time in my own words, because I'm knackered.

On reflection? Probably fair enough.