Leicestershires three universities join forces to fight blood cancer

The University of Leicester, Loughborough University and De Montfort University have joined forces to create Leicestershire UNItes in partnership with the Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign.

Each university will host a recruitment drive to add more names to the UK’s stem cell register, run by the Anthony Nolan Trust to help find potentially lifesaving matches for people with blood cancer. The total number of people recruited by the three universities, together with sixth form colleges in Leicestershire, will be added up at the end of the year. Organisers are hoping to set a new record for the number of people on the register – and make Leicestershire the stem cell capital of the UK.

The aim of the campaign is to add more names to the UK’s stem cell register, helping to find potentially lifesaving matches for people with blood cancer, by hosting recruitment drives.

Leicester has supported the Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign for several years, hosting events as part their recruitment drive every year since Rik’s ‘Pass It On’ campaign in 2015, where our academics showcased their research and explained what they are doing to pave the way for new leukaemia treatments in the future.

In 2016, we went in search of Leicester Heroes, recognising seven unsung heroes who had contributed to their community, while also smashing the record number of stem cell sign-ups in one drive with 1,406 new potential donors. Last year, we continued to go in search of our Leicester Heroes – remember, not all heroes wear a cape - while Leicester graduate and staff member Georgina talked about why being a stem cell donor matters and what it involves on BBC Radio Leicester.

Watch Rik speak about his experience with leukaemia and finding a stem cell donor:

Professor Paul Boyle President & Vice-Chancellor University of Leicester said: “We are delighted to partner with our fellow Leicestershire universities, De Montfort University and Loughborough University, in establishing the new Leicestershire UNItes campaign. This truly collaborative venture is a fantastic example of how our local universities work together to make a tangible impact on the lives of our local community and beyond."