Shirley Nolan, 60, a British woman who established a...

Deaths Elsewhere

July 17, 2002

Shirley Nolan,

60, a British woman who established a register of bone marrow donors in an attempt to save her young son, who suffered a rare immune system disease, died of a fatal drug overdose Sunday in Adelaide, Australia.

Ms. Nolan suffered from Parkinson's disease and had vowed to take her life before the degenerative disease robbed her of the ability to commit suicide.

Her son, Anthony Nolan, died 23 years ago at age 8 of Wiscott-Aldrich syndrome, a rare disease that affects the immune system. A bone-marrow transplant could have saved his life.

Because Anthony had no brothers or sisters, his mother had to appeal for possible bone-marrow donors and set up the trust, then called the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust, in 1974 to help in her search.

By the time of her son's death, Ms. Nolan and the trust had collected 30,000 possible donors and continued to develop the register from its early base as a tissue-matching laboratory at St. Mary Abbot's Hospital in London.

The Anthony Nolan Trust now has more than 320,000 potential donors.

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