Aston Villa have announced plans to tackle leukaemia head on and offer a voice to two of the leading cancer charities following captain Stiliyan Petrov's recent diagnosis.
Support Stan: Register and Run will see Villa back initiatives from both charities in the coming weeks to help raise awareness of leukaemia and give fans the chance to show their support for Petrov.
At the final home game of the Premier League season against Tottenham Hotspur, there will be a donor drive as well as the opportunity to sign up for a fun run. Supporters can join the Anthony Nolan stem cell register by heading to the Villa Park Indoor Academy before kick-off and providing a small saliva sample. The charity uses this sample to match donors to patients in need of a lifesaving stem cell transplant. If they do come up as a match for someone with blood cancer, they will be asked to donate their stem cells in a process similar to giving blood.
Anthony Nolan particularly needs young men aged between 18 and 30 to sign up, as they make the best donors yet account for just 12 per cent of the register. Meanwhile, Cure Leukaemia are offering fans the chance to sign up for a fun run taking place at Sutton Park, Birmingham on May 27. Participants can run, jog or walk the course, with all monies raised going towards funding a research nurse to administer lifesaving drugs to patients who have come to the end of readily available treatments on the NHS. The target is to raise £25,000 to help fund a nurse for a year.
Application forms are also available at www.cureleukaemia.co.uk.