charity

BAFTA winner Olivia Colman has made a heartfelt appeal for people to donate stem cells after losing her school friend to blood cancer.

The Favourite actress revealed how a transplant gave classmate Pip “hope in the darkness”.

In a video for the charity Anthony Nolan, the star describes how her friend, who was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of 31, “didn’t make it”.

Colman urges the public to sign up to the charity’s stem cell register, which she and husband Ed Sinclair joined in 2008, so that others have a chance of living. In the film, she says: “Sadly my friend Pip didn’t make it, but together we can make sure more people like Pip do make it. We want more people on the register. It’s just a little swab of the mouth … Without you there is no cure.”

Pip’s only chance of survival had been a donor who could provide a perfect match, according to Colman. Soon a donor was found in Australia. “Anthony Nolan did an amazing thing,” Colman said. She became patron of Anthony Nolan in July last year.

About 2,000 people in the UK need a stem cell transplant every year. Donations from young men and people with black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds are needed in particular.

Anthony Nolan’s chief executive Henny Braund said: “It is wonderful to have Olivia’s support and I am grateful to her for sharing this heartfelt story. This will help us continue to give hope to thousands of people every year.”

Source: eveningstandard.co.uk – Olivia Colman’s heartfelt appeal for stem cell donors after friend’s death at 31

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