WRL announce charity partnership with Anthony Nolan

Wales Rugby League is pleased to announce a charity partnership with charity, Anthony Nolan.

Anthony Nolan is the charity that makes lifesaving connections between patients in need and incredible strangers ready to donate their stem cells. For someone with blood cancer or a blood disorder, a stem cell transplant from a matching donor could be their last chance of survival.

The charity also carries out pioneering research to increase stem cell transplant success and supports patients through their transplant journeys.

Anthony Nolan branding will feature on the front of the shirt in the forthcoming Chairman’s XIII match against Cumbria on Friday 13 October, and on the shirt of the Women’s team when they face England at Headingley Stadium in Leeds, in a one-off test match on Saturday 4 November.

A number of the shirts will be made available on an online auction, with proceeds going to support the work of Anthony Nolan.

The partnership was formed when former WRL Chairman, Brian Juliff, stood down from the role after 11 years to support his wife, Anne. Anne has been diagnosed with Myelofibrosis, a very rare form of blood cancer, and she has been supporting the charity with their work to attract more donors by telling her story.

Henny Braund MBE, Chief Executive at Anthony Nolan, said: “It’s hard to hear that Anne has had her life thrown out of balance by her recent diagnosis. At Anthony Nolan we are working hard to find Anne’s perfect match but we urgently need more men between the ages of 16-30 to join our register, as our research shows they make the best donors for our patients.

“Joining the register takes minutes – just complete a short form on our website and you’ll receive your swab in the post in just a few days.”

Andy Morgan, Communication and Media Director at WRL commented: “With the support of Anne, Brian gave an incredible amount to Wales Rugby League for more than a decade. It’s only right that in their time of need, we do what we can to support them.

“By raising awareness of Anthony Nolan and the work they do by featuring their branding on the shirts in the two matches, we hope that can lead to more people joining the stem cell register and potentially saving a life. I’d encourage everyone who is eligible to take a few minutes to visit the Anthony Nolan website and see how straightforward it is.”

We are encouraging eligible people to sign up to the register to provide hope for anyone living with blood cancer. This can be with Anthony Nolan or DKMS. Anthony Nolan only accepts registrations from those aged 16-30, while those aged up to 55 can register with DKMS.

Once signing up to the register and completing a short questionnaire, those eligible will be sent a swab kit. Once sent back to Anthony Nolan, the swabs are kept by their labs where scientists will record your tissue type. Anthony Nolan facilitates 1,100 stem cell transplants from an unrelated donor every year for patients in the UK.