22 January 2019
What a year 2018 was! We really couldn’t have done it without your support and thanks to you we hit some key milestones last year which we thought you might like to see!
Life in the UK
Last year we marked our fifth year milestone in the UK, and, thanks to all our wonderful donors we were able to give an incredible 225 second chances at life. We have also given more hope to people across the world, as over 125,000 new lifesavers-in-waiting joined the registry with DKMS.
This means that, as we draw closer to our six-year anniversary in the UK, we have now registered nearly 450,000 potential donors and over 8.5 million worldwide. In 2018 staff, volunteers, partners and community groups helped to organise an amazing 656 donor registration drives to encourage people aged between 17-55 to register as potential blood stem cell donors.
Over £1.9m (including Big Love Gala income) was raised to help support the vital work we do and register even more potential lifesavers.
Blood cancer frequency
Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer, such as leukaemia. It is the third most common cause of cancer death in the UK.
Every year over 30,000 people are diagnosed with a blood cancer in the UK.
Every day, around 220 potential blood stem cell donors register with us and go on standby to potentially save someone’s life.
Finding a Match
Each year more than 2,000 people with blood cancer in the UK and 80,000 people worldwide are in need of a blood stem cell donation from an unrelated person.
6 out of 10 blood cancer patients in the UK find an unrelated matching blood stem cell donor – meaning 4 out of 10 won’t. This is why it’s essential to register as many potential blood stem cell donors as possible to help give someone in need a second chance.
By registering, and keeping your contact details up-to-date you are helping to give a patient real hope that they will find their potential lifesaver in time. So thank you for giving hope when it’s needed most.
The Donation Process
Should you be identified as a match for someone in need there are two donation methods
About 90% of blood stem cell donations in the UK are made via a peripheral blood stem cell collection (PBSC). It involves blood being taken from one of the donor’s arms and a machine separates the blood stem cells from it. The donor’s blood is then returned to them through their other arm. This is an outpatient procedure that is usually completed in about 4 hours.
In 10% of cases, donations are made through bone marrow collection. Bone marrow is not extracted from the spine, but taken from the pelvic bone under general anaesthetic.
Whichever method you donate through, your blood stem cells will completely replenish themselves within four weeks – so you don’t lose anything!