I'm a match

If you are reading this section you are likely to have received the wonderful news that a request has been made on behalf of a patient who needs some of your stem cells. Or, you might be reading this because you are considering registering with us and want to find out more.

Find out more about the process if you are called upon as a match, all the way from swab to donation.

The process explained

Your journey starts here...

Wherever you are at in your own decision-making about stem cell donation, we can help you to understand the processes and support available. Finding blood stem cell donor matches can be very difficult because matches are based on HLA type (tissue type) characteristics. You are part of this rare figure because your tissue type is very closely matched to a specific patient. When you registered with DKMS, you submitted a cheek swab sample that was tested to determine your tissue type.

Your tissue type has now been found to be a close match for someone in need. Your commitment to potentially save someone’s life is really important and we thank you for making this. Our commitment is to support you at every step of the way on your lifesaving journey.

Being a donor

Please read the information we sent you in the post and call your DKMS Co-ordinator as soon as possible so that they can:

  • provide you with more information on what the next steps are.
  • review your completed health questionnaire to be sure it is safe for you to donate.
  • answer any questions you might have.
  • explain the two methods of donating blood stem cells.

About the collection process

Once you’ve been identified as a potential match, we’ll be in touch to inform you of the good news and to go through a detailed information session with one of our Donor Request Co-ordinators.

When will I know if I can donate?

Following your confirmatory blood test, if it is determined that you are the best possible match for a patient, we will:

  • schedule an information session over the phone to explain the specifics of your donation.
  • schedule a medical assessment to make sure the donation is safe for both you and the patient.
  • ask you to donate using one of the two methods described here.

Understand your commitment if you match a patient, your commitment to donate is very important, but you have the right to change your mind. However, a late decision to not donate can be life-threatening for the patient. We ask that you consider this decision seriously. More information about being a donor is provided in our Donor Handbook. This handbook will help you to make an informed decision. If you are unable to participate, please let us know.


We will organise a blood sample to rule out any infectious diseases such as hepatitis and to verify if you are actually a suitable match. This process is called Confirmatory Typing (CT).

We will inform you of any unexpected results. All information is strictly confidential. We will then wait to hear from the patient’s doctors, as to whether they want to go ahead with you as a donor. It usually takes about 2-3 months to hear back from patient’s doctors.

Keep us updated

It’s important that we can reach you, so please keep us updated on any changes to your address, availability and your current medical condition.

Update my details

Talk to us

We’re here to support you.

If you would like to speak to someone in the team about your forthcoming journey as a blood stem cell donor, we are here to support you every step of the way. Please email us at medical@dkms.org.uk or call T: 020 8747 5620

Other ways to help

Help us to register more lifesavers

Help to register potential lifesavers in your local area

Every penny you raise will be used to register new donors