An award-winning reporter’s dying wish to raise awareness of leukaemia and its treatment came a step closer this week with more than 10,000 signing his petition.
Digital journalist and blogger Adrian Sudbury has been campaigning for compulsory one-hour lessons on bone marrow and blood donation for sixth-form students after being told in May he would not recover from two rare forms of leukaemia, first diagnosed in 2006.
The petition calling on Prime Minister Gordon Brown to increase education, on the Number 10 Downing Street website, closed on Wednesday. Sudbury has already met the Prime Minister and other senior politicians and his fight has been discussed in both the House of Commons and House of Lords.
Huddersfield Examiner journalist Sudbury, who turned 27 last week, has picked up numerous awards for Baldy’s Blog, on which he writes in detail about his illness. He was named multimedia journalist of the year at this year’s Regional Press Awards.
Last week Sudbury claimed a victory as education minister Jim Knight, in response to a Parliamentary question about the campaign from Huddersfield MP Kali Mountford, said the government would re-launch its information packs and website on bone marrow donation, make them suitable for an 18-year-old audience and send them to all schools and colleges in September.
Mountford said: ‘I am really pleased that Adrian is getting a birthday present of achieving what he set out to do on the national curriculum but what we have to do is to make sure that this goes on every year.
‘Just as Anthony Nolan’s family was an inspiration for a generation in the 1970s, Adrian has opened our eyes to what should be done now.”
Sudbury wrote on his blog: ‘The momentum behind this project is incredible and time is still on our side. This is just a list of ideas and nothing is set in stone.
‘I love how much this has all come to mean to you too and I know with your support we are going to change things for the better in this country. ‘Hopefully, lives are going to be saved because of all our work and efforts.”