At Anthony Nolan, we want to make a lifesaving change in the way the UK thinks about stem cell and bone marrow donation.

Too many young people are discouraged from signing up to donate, because they think it’s scary, or very painful, or dangerous – which couldn’t be further from the truth.


With more than 2,000 lives at stake every year, we urgently need to put an end to that myth.


So to help us explain how easy stem cell donation really is, we’ve recruited some incredibly talented animation students, who've produced the video above. And we’ve spoken to our wonderful donors about their own transplant experiences, too.

Our message is simple. #DonatingIsntScary.

Agree with us? Then help us spread the word.


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'It didn't hurt at all. People have been throwing around the word 'hero' for what I've done, for helping a stranger, but I don't feel like one.

'The heroes are the patients who are still fighting. Me? I'm just their sidekick, and I sincerely hope that more and more people get the chance to be a sidekick, because it's the best thing I've ever done.'

Shiv, stem cell donor


Want to know more about stem cell donation?


When you sign up to the Anthony Nolan register (you need to be 16-30 and in good health), you’ll give us a quick saliva sample, and we’ll use it to put you on our database.

If your DNA is ever matched with a patient in need of a lifesaving stem cell transplant, we’ll be in touch.

You can donate your stem cells in two ways. Nearly 90% of people donate their stem cells quickly and easily in a process similar to giving blood, called peripheral blood stem cell collection.

The other 10% donate through bone marrow, where they give cells from the bone marrow in their pelvis, while under general anaesthetic. If you sign up, you need to be happy to donate in either way.


'The myths of it being painful couldn't be further from the truth. I got treated so well all the way through and there were zero issues for me. I was thinking - 'When can I do it again?'

'It's so effortless and so easy. I consider myself lucky to be chosen to donate.'

Ryan, stem cell donor

'Not enough young people know about it – when they hear 'transplants', they get easily put off.

It's so easy to sign up, it's all pain-free, and you just can't put a price on the experience, and knowing that you've made a difference.'

Ray, stem cell donor

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