THE MP for Witham has marked Blood Cancer Awareness month at a reception in Westminster.

In Witham, just 781 potential stem cell donors are registered with Anthony Nolan, a charity which matches donors to those who need transplants

Priti Patel is encouraging more people from her constituency, particularly men aged 16 and 30 and people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds, to register as stem cell donors.

Men between 16 and 30 are most likely to be asked to donate, yet make up just 16 per cent of the register.

There is also as shortage of donors from non-white and mixed-race backgrounds.

Ms Patel said: “I am very proud that Witham has 781 people who have selflessly volunteered to give someone a second chance at life.

"Donating stem cells is straightforward, but it could make an enormous difference to someone with no other chance of a cure.

“I strongly hope more people from our community will be inspired to sign up and show that together, we can provide a cure for blood cancer.”

The reception was held by Anthony Nolan on September 12,, as part of its Communities vs Blood Cancer campaign, which shines a spotlight on the work being done at a local level to ensure every patient in need of a stem cell transplant can find a donor.

Henny Braund, chief executive of Anthony Nolan, said: “Since 1974 thousands of caring, selfless people have joined the Anthony Nolan register and thousands of lives have been saved as a result.

"This Blood Cancer Awareness Month, residents can be proud of all the lifesavers in your community.

"It’s wonderful to have the support of Witham in achieving our goal of saving and improving the lives of people with blood cancer and blood disorders.”