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Bristol Marrow and the ANT

About Marrow

The Anthony Nolan Trust

What is bone marrow?

Why we target students

Contact us


Marrow was founded in 1997 by a group of medical students in Nottingham, following the death of their friend from leukaemia. Since then, Marrow groups have been established in medical schools across the UK.

The success of Marrow’s partnership with The Anthony Nolan Trust continues to grow every year. As of this year, there are 25 active Marrow groups based in universities across the country. In 2004 alone, Marrow groups recruited 3100 new donors (25 % of the total number of new donors who joined the register) and raised a total in excess of £45,000 for The Anthony Nolan Trust.

Bristol Marrow has been running since 2000, and aims to give every student in the Bristol area the opportunity to join the Anthony Nolan Trust bone marrow register. We run recruitment clinics and events throughout the year and are always looking for local support to help us and our cause.

The Anthony Nolan Trust

The Anthony Nolan Trust was founded in 1974 by Shirley Nolan, who identified the need for a donor register after her son diagnosed as needing a bone marrow transplant. Sadly, Anthony Nolan died but in his memory his mother started the first bone marrow register to give others a chance of life.

The Anthony Nolan Trust manages one of the largest registers in existence with over 350,000 people on its books. At any one time it searches for donors for 7000 patients worldwide. Recently, the organisation completed its 5000th bone marrow transplant. See the links page to be directed to their website.

What is bone marrow?

Marrow is the liquid soft centre of bones containing blood stem cells. These stem cells then develop into more specialised cells such as red and white blood cells. Tragically, in people suffering from conditions such as leukaemia it is seriously defective, meaning that their only hope for survival is a bone marrow transplant from a healthy donor. Whilst family members are often looked to for donations only 30% provide matches, so in the remaining cases donors have to be looked for elsewhere. It is essential that donor and recipient marrow is matched on genetic markers found on white cells in the blood; in order for stem cell transplants to succeed tissue types have to be virtually identical.

Cake Sale


We work with The Anthony Nolan Trust and aim to give every student in the country the chance to join the bone marrow register. The Anthony Nolan Trust manages one of the largest registers of bone marrow in existence with over 350,000 people on its books. At any one time it searches for donors for 7000 patients worldwide.

Why students?

Marrow targets students as they make ideal donors being generally young, fit and healthy. Student populations also tend to be very ethnically diverse, which is important because tissue type is inherited, so patients who need transplants are most likely to find a match within their own ethnic community. There are far fewer volunteer donors on the register from ethnic minorities and therefore finding donors for non-caucasian patients is much harder. By targeting people of different ethnic origins, we hope to increase the proportion on the register to give all patients a good chance of finding a match.


Bristol Marrow runs donor recruitment clinics across Bristol University and other universities in the south west region. Joining the bone narrow register is easy and only takes 15 minutes. For more information, visit out clinic page or email us at bristol-marrow@bris.ac.uk.

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