Andrew Hayden-Smith wants you to spit and save a life
Andrew Hayden-Smith has backed a campaign urging you to spit – and possibly help to save a life.
The out Cucumber and Doctor who star has urged people to sign up to the stem cell donor register – after a donor made a real difference to his family.
In England, Scotland and Wales at present, men who have sex with men (MSM) are banned from giving blood from 12 months from last sexual activity. In Northern Ireland, men who have sex with men are permanently banned from giving blood.
However, the system for donating stem cells and bone marrow is entirely separate – and despite a common misconception, gay men are allowed to register.
He adds that signing up is as simple as spitting in a test tube – speaking about how a stem cell donor helped his father Wayne’s battle with blood cancer.
He said: “When we were told that Anthony Nolan had found a donor for Dad, it felt like there was hope and for the first time since finding out he was ill, that we had a good chance we could get through it.
“Words can’t express how grateful I am to the donor and to Anthony Nolan – ‘thank you’ just doesn’t seem to cut it. A completely selfless act from a total stranger is helping to give my Dad a second chance at life.
“Without them doing what they did, and without the Anthony Nolan register, he might not be here today. I’m forever in their debt.”
TOWIE star Bobby Norris also backed the campaign – after a mystery donor helped save his mum.
He said: “Somewhere out there, there’s a person who gave my mum a second chance of life. I always describe mum’s donor as an angel walking this earth.
“That’s why I’ve spray-painted angel wings onto my #IGiveASpit t-shirt, and why I’ll support Anthony Nolan for the rest of my life.
“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster of a year, and this is my way of celebrating all the positives that have come out of it and saying thank you to our guardian angel.”
To buy one of the limited edition Ashish t-shirts, or to sign up to the stem cell donor register, visit Anthony Nolan. Customisable shirts are also available from design and print boutique YR STORE at Topman, Oxford Circus, with 10% of proceeds going to the charity.