Our story began with one family fighting to save someone they loved. DKMS was founded in Germany in 1991 by Dr Peter Harf following a diagnosis of leukaemia of his wife, Mechtild, and her need for a bone marrow transplant. Peter wanted to give his wife and patients like her the best chance of survival. The answer seemed clear: more unrelated donors meant better chances for all patients in need.
DKMS and the organisation’s over 900 employees have since relentlessly pursued the aim of giving as many patients as possible a second chance of life. However, our work is far from done.
Currently, donors from black African or black Caribbean backgrounds represent less than 3% of the UK stem cell donor register. A patient will most likely be matched with someone from the same ethnic background, which means black patients have difficult odds, as black donors are massively under-represented on the UK register. Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with blood cancer and often a blood stem cell donation is the best – and sometimes the only – treatment method to help give someone a second chance of life.
DKMS are committed to doing all we can to make sure that everyone with blood cancer or a blood disorder in need of a transplant, regardless of their ethnicity or background, can find a matching donor. But we can’t make this happen without you.
Please consider joining the register. We urgently need more black donors and donors from mixed ethnic backgrounds.
It’s quick and easy to do, and you just never know who you could be a match for. Click Here to Register