Tuesday 30 August 2011

Well done Wigan Warriors

Thomas Leuluai
What a great weekend for Wigan!

I saw reports that over 30,000 Wigan Warrior fans attended the game and they made themselves heard turning Wembley into a home game for the day!

I stayed over in London on Saturday night before returning for the homecoming at the DW Stadium.

I was very lucky to be able to meet the players and congratulate them, but their focus was already turning to Sunday's game with Warrington. Sam Tomkins told me that they were reporting for training the following day. I have been fortunate to attend Challenge Cup finals but I have yet to see a finer try in the final than Joel Tomkin's length of the field effort on Saturday.

Friday 26 August 2011

Anthony Nolan Stem Cell Register

Today, I am calling for young men aged 18-30 in Makerfield to do something special by joining the Anthony Nolan stem cell register.

Anthony Nolan is a pioneering charity that saves the lives of people with blood cancer. Every day, they use their register to match remarkable donors willing to donate their blood stem cells to people who desperately need potentially lifesaving transplants. 

However, there is a shortage of young male donors on the bone marrow register. Men aged 18-30 account for 80% of donations, but make up just 19% of the register. Presently, Anthony Nolan can only find a matching donor for half the people who come to them in desperate need of a lifesaving transplant so this summer they are aiming to recruit 10,000 more young men to the register.

Young men interested in the chance to save someone’s life should go to the Anthony Nolan website and enter the code CUU2.

There are 1600 people in the UK in need of a potentially lifesaving stem cell transplant. By joining the Anthony Nolan Register, these young men will be offering patients the chance of life and a new hope to their families.

I found the story of 15 year old Alice Pyne inspiring and felt that if she can dedicate her life to recruiting donors then I should take part in that.

The young people I have met in my constituency are often gushing with altruism. I know many of them will relish the chance to step forward and join the Anthony Nolan register.

If every MP recruited just ten young men to the Anthony Nolan register, that would make up 6,500 new recruits towards the charity’s ten thousand target. These new donors could be saving lives by Christmas.

Anthony Nolan provides two potentially lifesaving transplants every day, but for every patient they can help, there is another for whom, sadly, no match can be found. On average, 65 people a day in the UK are diagnosed with a blood cancer – that’s one person every 23 minutes.

There are nearly 1,600 people in the UK in need of a bone marrow transplant.  This is usually their last chance of survival. 70% of patients will not find a matching donor from within their families.
80% of donations take place via PBSC (peripheral blood stem cell collection).  This is an outpatient appointment and is similar to donating blood.

Most donors talk about how wonderful it is to have saved someone’s life.

Thursday 25 August 2011

Parkinson's UK

Parkinson’s UK – the support and research charity - is committed to improving life for everyone affected by Parkinson’s.

Members of Parkinson’s UK in Makerfield met with me this week at the Wigan and Leigh Carers Centre in Hindley to talk about the issues that affect people with Parkinson’s and their carers.

Parkinson’s UK campaigns for people with Parkinson’s to have access to the health and social care they need, for scientific research into Parkinson’s to easily take place, and for people to have the financial support to stay independent and pay for their medication.

Katherine French, Influence and Service Development Officer of Parkinson’s UK said, “We invited Yvonne  to visit the branch, so we could tell her what we wanted her to do for Parkinson’s in her capacity as MP."

“We were delighted that she took the time to meet with us and listen to our concerns about the changes to the benefits system, prescription charges and the replacement of the Parkinsons Nurse who is leaving her post shortly. People said after the meeting how important it was to be able to talk open and honestly and have their views listened to and thanked her for taking time out to meet with them.”

Meeting people with Parkinson’s face-to-face has been a real eye-opener. I can now see the problems faced by carers and people with the condition. I want to do everything in my power to make sure people affected by Parkinson’s have all the support they need.

In particular, many people present were very concerned about the impact of the provisions of the Welfare Reform Act and the effect it will have on both them and their carers as it may mean they will wait longer for benefits and have the additional stress of being retested every year despite knowing that their condition will not improve.

For information and support call the Parkinson’s UK free confidential helpline on 0808 800 0303 or visit Parkinson's on the web.