Football fans in Milton Keynes are being urged to blow the whistle on organ transplant waiting lists, as NHS Blood and Transplant teams up with more than 45 sports organisations from top Premiership clubs to grassroots squads, including MK Dons.
The Sign for Life campaign asks supporters across the country to think about organ donation and to be inspired by their club to score another name on the NHS Organ Donor Register as well as tell their family they want to be an organ donor.
Right now there are around 6,500 people waiting for a transplant across the UK, including 32 people in Milton Keynes. On average three people die every day in the UK because of the shortage of organs available. This situation needs to be shown the red card.
One organ donor can save or transform the lives of up to nine people. The goal is to get more fans, their families and friends signed by the NHS Organ Donor Register and talking about organ donation. If more families agreed to donate their loved one’s organs, more lives could also be saved.
There are already more than 93,000 people on the NHS Organ Donor Register in Milton Keynes. NHS Blood and Transplant has joined forces with The Dons to increase this number by asking their 12th man to help relegate deaths in need of a transplant. Fans are also asked to make their match day chat about organ donation.
Anthony Clarkson, assistant director for Organ Donation and Nursing at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We know that for any football fan their support for their club is a lifelong commitment and passion, and one that they will proudly discuss with all their family and friends.
“In partnership with clubs including MK Dons, we want fans to show the same pride about their decision to be an organ donor and tell everyone that they and their club are passionate about saving lives. Every club will have fans who are waiting for a lifesaving transplant. By joining the NHS Organ Donor Register and sharing your decision you could save lives.
“We are delighted to have so many clubs working with us. Together we can use our national game as a force for good, and help end transplant waiting lists and people dying in need of a transplant.”
Clubs across the country have pledged their support for the campaign, which runs until April 9, and also includes football associations, rugby clubs and cricket teams.
Teams will be supporting the campaign in different ways, for example, by including information on organ donation in match day programmes, via official club social media channels or on stadium advertising boards.
Fans can join the NHS Organ Donor Register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk/signforlife or call 0300 123 23 23.