Selfless Camden volunteer praised by blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan

Selfless Camden volunteer Peter Hodes has been praised by blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan

Selfless Camden volunteer Peter Hodes has been praised by blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan - Credit: Archant

A pensioner has been named as a charity’s top volunteer after helping facilitate almost 50 life-saving bone marrow transplants.

Peter Hodes, 67, of Lyme Terrace, Camden Town, has been volunteering as a bone marrow courier for blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan since March last year.

During his time, he has collected and delivered stem cells to 47 patients, including one as far afield as Brisbane, Australia.

Anthony Nolan focuses on leukaemia and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, managing and recruiting donors to the Anthony Nolan Register.

Volunteers are also recruited to collect the bone marrow from the donor and deliver them to blood cancer patients within 72 hours.

The charity, which has its research offices based at the Royal Free Hospital, was founded by Shirley Nolan in 1974 and named after her son Anthony, who suffered from Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome – a rare inherited blood disorder.

Mr Hodes, who still works as a business consultant, is being featured as one of the charity’s best volunteers as part of National Volunteers’ Week which this week celebrates the contributions made by millions of selfless individuals.

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It is also hoped the week will inspire more people to try volunteering.

Mr Hodes started volunteering with Anthony Nolan after donating a kidney to a friend seven years ago. The operation made him realise how important blood donations were.

After becoming a regular blood and platelet donor he took up various volunteer roles for Anthony Nolan until he became a courier.

He said: “I am one of 40 volunteers and when I joined I thought, if the person who is donating their bone marrow is doing that for free, then we should pick up and deliver for free.

“The feeling of satisfaction when you take a box to a hospital to somebody who has cancer and this is their last chance of survival, it’s just wonderful.”

Henny Braund, chief executive at Anthony Nolan said: “Peter is an extraordinary volunteer who has contributed so much. I cannot emphasise enough how grateful we are to the thousands of people who give their time so generously to support Anthony Nolan. Their commitment and passion for the charity is incredible.

“These volunteers include couriers who collect stem cells from around the world, students who recruit new donors to the register and those who raise vital funds. Without them, Anthony Nolan would not be able to help so many people in need of bone marrow transplants; volunteers really do help us save lives.”

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