President – Sophie Langdon
Durham Marrow is a volunteer-led student society at Durham University, currently based out of Queen’s Campus. Our committee is responsible for the day-to-day running of the society, but we also depend upon the support of trained volunteers for many of our events.
Along with the other Marrow groups around the country, we are the student arm of the charity Anthony Nolan, which aims to recruit potential donors to the stem cell register, so that people suffering from blood cancers have a chance for a transplant. Despite the ongoing work of both Anthony Nolan and the Marrow groups, over half of the people who currently apply for a transplant do not find a match, and so it is essential that we try to recruit as many potential donors as we can, from both the student body and from the local community.
Our primary goal is to recruit new donors to the stem cell register, so that we can help to save the lives of those suffering from otherwise untreatable blood and bone disorders. We therefore run recruitment sessions at both campuses throughout the course of the year, so that as many students as possible are able to join the register. Our recruitment sessions are staffed both by members of the committee and also trained volunteers, who talk potential donors through the process and help them to sign onto the register. Durham Marrow is also responsible for raising awareness about the work of Anthony Nolan and the stem cell register. As well as highlighting the need for more donors in general, we aim to inform others of startling facts such as that 94% of British donors would not be a match for an Asian patient with blood cancer, or that only 30% of those requiring a transplant would find a match within their own family.
Our secondary goal is fundraising, as the lifesaving work that Anthony Nolan carries out on a daily basis requires funding; for example, it costs over £100 to analyse the tissue type of each new potential donor and to add them to the register. Durham Marrow therefore hosts numerous fundraising events for students, such as our saucy calendar sales and Marrow Strip, and all of the money raised goes directly to Anthony Nolan and helps to save lives. We also work locally and on campus to raise funds, with several rag raid collections organised each year, as well more traditional events such as supermarket bag-packing and cake sales.
Thirdly, we have fun! It’s a serious cause… but we’re a student society, so expect messy socials throughout the year, including Be A Superhero night, and the ‘M for Marrow’ bar crawl. That’s on top of the Marrow Strip, Calendar and all of the other exciting events we have planned!
To find out more about us, please visit our website.