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Students on Stratford campus help save lives

PUBLISHED: 12:49 13 March 2015 | UPDATED: 12:57 13 March 2015

Elizabeth Akeno was one of 22 UEL students who signed up to become bone marrow donors on the day

Elizabeth Akeno was one of 22 UEL students who signed up to become bone marrow donors on the day

Archant

Black and minority ethnic (BAME) students at the University of East London spat in a tube to save lives by becoming bone marrow donors.

Twenty-two students visited the university’s Stratford campus to register their interest at a donor recruitment drive.

Those with bone cancer from an ethnic minority group are 40 per cent less likely to find a suitable donor than Caucasian people.

But the huge diversity of the east London students means they are in an ideal position to lower those odds.

Volunteer group UEL Marrow is hoping the event will help redress the balance.

Its president, Peter Carr, said it was set up at UEL because of the rich ethnic diversity of the students.

He added: “There are around 120 different nationalities. I am very excited about this event since we are trying to encourage as many people between the ages of 16 to 30 as possible to sign up.”

At the UEL event, students who signed up simply filled in a form and spat in a tube.

The whole process took about 10 to 15 minutes and no blood was taken.

The chances that donors will be a match for someone varies by age and gender, but is usually 1 in 1000.

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