Pinxton journalist’s legacy is helping to save lives

Kay and Keith Sudbury with a photo of their son Adrian who died of leukaemia aged 27, 5 years ago. His legacy is the Anthony Nolan Trust's Register and Be A Lifesaver programme.
Kay and Keith Sudbury with a photo of their son Adrian who died of leukaemia aged 27, 5 years ago. His legacy is the Anthony Nolan Trust's Register and Be A Lifesaver programme.

Five years after his death, Pinxton journalist Adrian Sudbury’s legacy is already helping to save the lives of other leukaemia sufferers.

Adrian died in August 2008, aged 27, following a two year battle with the disease, and during that time he began a campaign to raise awareness about bone marrow donation.

His parents Kay and Keith have carried on his work and Adrian’s legacy is the ‘Register and Be a Lifesaver’ education programme run by the Anthony Nolan blood cancer charity.

It has already been responsible for getting 4,500 students to sign up for the bone marrow register, as well as creating 7,000 new blood donors and putting 2,500 new names on the organ donor register.

“We have also now had three students who, following our presentations have joined the bone marrow register, have come up as a match and have donated, saving three lives already,” said Keith.

The programme is reaching an ever increasing number of sixth-form age students, which the family hopes will mean an even greater chance of bone marrow donors being found for those who need them.

Said Keith: “My wife and I, we don’t do this because we are grieving parents.

“It’s very sad to lose your son and we miss him everyday, but we do this because it’s such a good idea.”

The aim of Register and Be a Lifesaver is to make 16-18-year-olds aware of the facts behind bone marrow donation so they can make an informed choice whether to become a donor.

Keith said: “We have been staggered by the maturity of the students. They hear our presentations, they want to do something and by the figures, you can see that they do do something.”

They said that Adrian, a former Frederick Gent School pupil, would be ‘very, very proud of what has been achieved’, both in terms of the number of donors signed up and the volunteers recruited.

Added Keith: “If you have to have a legacy, it doesn’t get better than this.”