About Blood Cancer Awareness Month

Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma. For many, a blood stem cell donation from a genetically similar person is their best chance of survival but they never find a match. With your help, we can change this.

September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month and the perfect opportunity for you to get involved in the fight against blood cancer. Whether you take part in our social media campaign, register as a blood stem cell donor or organise an event, every action you take will help raise awareness and give hope to people with blood cancer this September.

Get involved

Register as a potential blood stem cell donor

Check your eligibility

Your age, location and current health status are important. Check to see if you can become a blood stem cell donor.

Your age, location and health are important

See if you are eligible

As a registered donor, you will be on standby to save life.

Do you live in the UK or British Islands?

United Kingdom

DKMS in the UK accepts registrations from the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Is this your first registration with a stem cell donor registry?

If you are already listed with the British Bone Marrow Registry (BBMR), the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry (WBMDR), or with Anthony Nolan, you should not re-register. We and each of these organisations register donors to one single UK registry.

Please enter your date of birth.

Does your health allow you to register as a donor?

If you have or have had in the past, a chronic or serious condition, or take any medication regularly, please review the list of conditions below, or, for more in-depth information, visit our FAQ's.

If you would prefer to contact us for guidance, please call us on 020 8747 5620 or send an email to donor@dkms.org.uk.

List of conditions

Please select measurement unit and enter your details

You are an eligible donor!

Thank you for checking your eligibility with us.

Please wait while you are transferred to the registration form to request your swab kit.

Thank you for your support.

We can only register people who live in the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

 

You might be able to register with one of our sister organisations below:

or

or you can...

Help us raise funds

Thank you for your support.

If you did register before, you do not need to register again.

 

There are other ways to help.

Help us raise funds

Thank you for your support.

To register as a potential blood stem cell donor, you must be between the ages of 17-55.

 

You can still help in other ways!

Help us raise funds

or

Thank you for your support.

Unfortunately you are not eligible to become a donor.

 

You can still help in other ways!

Help us raise funds

or

Thank you for your support.

To register you must weigh at least 7 stone/13 lbs / 50 kg with a BMI below 40.

 

But there are still many other ways to help!

Help us raise funds

or

 

Does your health allow you to register as a donor?

Before you register, please check that you are able to donate by looking at the list below. Type the name of your condition into the search box and scroll down to see the corresponding results.

  • Addiction (Alcohol, illicit or prescription drugs) The occasional consumption of cannabis does not affect your eligibility to register as a blood stem cell donor.
  • Allergies - Yes, it is possible to register as a potential blood stem cell donor when suffering from an allergy (including food allergies, hay fever or drug allergies), with the exception of severe allergic reactions (e.g. allergic shocks or Quincke's Oedema) in the past. If you have suffered from severe allergic reactions in the past, please contact us via email: donor@dkms.org.uk, or tel: 020 8747 5620, because it may affect your eligibility as a donor.
  • Asthma If you have mild asthma and it is well controlled with any combination of inhalers alone you are eligible to register.  You are not eligible if you were admitted to hospital regularly in the past 2 years due to asthma attacks or require oral cortisone tablets, Montelukast or Theophylline.​
  • Autoimmune diseases, general e.g. psoriasis – yes, it is possible to register as a blood stem cell donor. 
  • Autoimmune diseases affecting a particular organ, e.g. Hashimoto's encephalopathy - No, it is not possible for someone to register as a blood stem cell donor if they suffer from this particular type of autoimmune disease because there is a risk of transmitting the condition onto the recipient.
  • Basal cell carcinoma and cervical carcinoma in situ - Yes, you are able to register if the basal cell carcinoma and cervical carcinoma in situ have been removed completely and the control check-ups since have been without pathological findings.
  • Bipolar/manic affective illnesses – No, If the prospective donor is suffering from a severe psychological illness, it is unfortunately not possible for them to register. There are concerns about many psychotropic drugs, which can cause changes to the blood count. Neuroleptics are especially problematic in this regard, making it impossible to donate blood stem cells.
  • Blood transfusion - Receiving a blood transfusion may not stop you from registering as a potential blood stem cell donor. If you received a transfusion following a one-off loss of blood during pregnancy/childbirth or after the trauma you are fine to register. If you received a transfusion because of a different medical condition, please email us with details about the condition. Regardless of the reason for the transfusion, if it took place outside of Europe, Australia or North America, just let us know by emailing: donor@dkms.org.uk.
  • Borderline Syndrome – No, If the prospective donor is suffering from a severe psychological illness, it is unfortunately not possible for them to register. There are concerns about many psychotropic drugs, which can cause changes to the blood count. Neuroleptics are especially problematic in this regard, making it impossible to donate blood stem cells.
  • Cancer – No, it is not possible for someone who has suffered from a malignant disease in the past to register as a blood stem cell donor.
  • Colitis - No, people with ulcerative colitis cannot register as a potential blood stem cell donor. The restriction is in place to protect the donor as well as the recipient.
  • Crohns - No, people with Crohns disease cannot register as a potential blood stem cell donor. The restriction is in place to protect the donor as well as the recipient.
  • Diabetes Type 1 – No, it is not possible to register donors with diabetes mellitus type 1. The restriction is in place to protect the donor as well as the recipient.
  • Diabetes Type 2 - To be able to register, the condition has to be controlled by diet and there should be no other risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
  • Diabetes Insipidus - No, it is not possible to register donors with diabetes insipidus. The restriction is in place to protect the donor as well as the recipient.
  • Diseases of the haematopoeitic system (blood disorders) - No, people with diseases of the blood and the immune system cannot register as a potential blood stem cell donor, because the blood stem cells of the haematopoietic system and the immune system are transmitted through the stem cell transplantation.
  • Dyspnoea – No, those suffering from frequent or consistent dyspnoea are not eligible to register as a potential blood stem cell donor.
  • Epilepsy - It is possible to register as long as you have been seizure-free for the past 12 months without needing medication. However, if you are currently requiring medication or have recently had a seizure, then you are unable to register. You are also not able to register if seizures are related to a problem with, or injury to, the brain.​
  • Fibromyalgia - No, people with fibromyalgia cannot register as a potential blood stem cell donor. The restriction is in place to protect the donor as well as the recipient.
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder – Yes, it is possible to register as a donor if suffering from mild anxiety, if the prospective donor is receiving treatment for a limited amount of time, and feeling well enough to manage everyday life.
  • Grave’s disease or a thyroid carcinoma - No, people with Grave’s disease or a thyroid carcinoma cannot register as a potential blood stem cell donor. The restriction is in place to protect the donor as well as the recipient.
  • Hashimoto's Encephalopathy - No, it is not possible to register as a blood stem cell donor if suffering from Hashimoto's Encephalopathy. 
  • Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - Yes, it is possible to register as a potential blood stem cell donor if suffering from Hashimoto's Thyroiditis if your condition is stable and you are symptom-free. 
  • High Blood Pressure - Yes, you are able to register with high blood pressure because it does not generally affect blood stem cell donation so long as the condition is well-regulated with drugs or through an adapted diet and hasn’t caused any damage to the eyes, heart or vessels.
  • High blood pressure – Yes, you can register with well-regulated high blood pressure, as long as there are no health problems stemming from the condition.
  • Infectious diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C, Syphilis - No, people with severe and life-threatening infectious diseases like HIV would not be eligible to register as a potential blood stem cell donor. This is to protect the recipient, especially in cases where complete healing from the disease is not verifiable (e.g. Hepatitis C).
  • Iron deficiency anaemia - For iron-deficiency anaemia, the determining factor is the haemoglobin level. If the level is frequently below 11.5 mg/dl for women and 13.5 mg/dl for men, registration is not permitted. However, if the iron supplement is well-tolerated and the iron levels, as well as the haemoglobin level, are in a normal range, you would still be eligible to register as a potential blood stem cell donor.
  • Major Depression – No, it is not possible to register if the potential donor is limited due to their illness. The donation process can be an additional mental burden that has to be managed on top of everything else. It is not only a question of whether the donor will be able to reliably come to the donation appointment, but also how they can handle the situation after the donation.
  • Minor Depression – Yes, it is possible to register as a donor if suffering from mild depression, if the prospective donor is receiving treatment for a limited amount of time, and feeling well enough to manage everyday life. This applies to blood stem cell donors whose medication contains less problematic substances, such as Citalopram, Venlafaxine or Fluoxetine.
  • Mitral valve prolapse - Yes, people suffering from a mitral valve prolapse can register as a potential blood stem cell donor, as long as there are no health problems stemming from the condition.
  • Pernicious Anaemia - No, it is not possible to register as a blood stem cell donor if suffering from pernicious anaemia. 
  • Psoriasis – Yes, if it is mild/moderate (the classic 'cigarette paper-like' eczema) and is being treated with topical therapy (tar, creams, etc.) or a single course of UV therapy, you are eligible.
  • Psychosis – No, If the prospective donor is suffering from a severe psychological illness, it is unfortunately not possible for them to register. There are concerns about many psychotropic drugs, which can cause changes to the blood count. Neuroleptics are especially problematic in this regard, making it impossible to donate blood stem cells.
  • Rheumatism – No, it is not possible for someone to register as a blood stem cell donor if they are suffering from a rheumatic disease, even if they are not currently experiencing any symptoms.
  • Schizo-effective disorders – No, If the prospective donor is suffering from a severe psychological illness, it is unfortunately not possible for them to register. There are concerns about many psychotropic drugs, which can cause changes to the blood count. Neuroleptics are especially problematic in this regard, making it impossible to donate blood stem cells.
  • Severe heart diseases - No, heart diseases that require treatment or monitoring would not be eligible to register as a potential blood stem cell donor, because they greatly increase the risk of complications during the donation. Those conditions include cardiac dysrhythmia, damage to the vascular walls, arteriosclerosis (especially if medication with anticoagulant drugs is necessary), heart attack, strokes, or structural defects of the heart such as valvar defects.
  • Severe kidney diseases - No, people with chronic kidney diseases, including diseases in the early stages cannot register as a potential blood stem cell donor. There is a risk of further damage to their kidneys during a blood stem cell donation.
  • Severe lung diseases - No, someone with a chronic lung disease, including diseases in the early stages cannot register as a potential blood stem cell donor. There is a risk of further damage to their lungs during a blood stem cell donation.
  • Severe metabolic diseases - No, those with severe metabolic diseases, including diseases in the early stages, cannot register as a potential blood stem cell donor because they might see their condition worsen or lapse during a blood stem cell donation.
  • Severe tropical infectious diseases - No, people with a pre-existing infectious disease cannot register as a potential blood stem cell donor because the disease can be transmitted to the recipient during a blood stem cell donation.
  • Thyroid (enlarged or underactive) - Yes, people with hypothyroidism or hashimoto’s thyroiditis are able to register as a potential blood stem cell donor if they are stable and symptom free, including when taking thyroid hormones or iodine.

How to become a blood stem cell donor

How to become a blood stem cell donor with DKMS
How to become a blood stem cell donor with DKMS

Watch this short video to see what it means to be a potential blood stem cell donor. A five-minute cheek swab will put you on standby to save a life.

Raise awareness

Get involved in #BloodCancerAwarenessMonth, by sharing content on your social media channels, website, any e-zines you see and other channels. Below you'll find access to a library of resources and other ideas to help you raise awareness of blood cancer.

Share our posts

Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube logo's

We'll be posting, tweeting and sharing new content throughout September. Every like, share and comment helps us to raise awareness about blood cancer so make sure you get involved with any or all of our posts! If you'd like to make your own post, we've got some examples to get you started.

Q&A sessions, polls & stories

Instagram question

Host a designated Q&A session on your social media platform. If you're on Instagram, you can help by creating stories with facts, polls, "swipe up" links and questions. We've created a host of materials to help you spread the word.

#GetCheeky

#GetCheeky

Once you’ve registered as a potential blood stem cell donor and returned your cheek swabs, let your friends know where you completed the cheek swab process by answering the question “Where did you #GetCheeky?” using the #GetCheeky hashtag and no background information. Find out more.

Other ways to take part

Return your swabs

Post your swabs back today

If you’ve registered as a potential blood stem cell donor online but have yet to return your swab kit, it’s crucial that you return it to us ASAP. Although you completed your initial information, without your swabs we are unable to complete your registration. If you’ve lost your kit, or can’t remember if you returned your swabs, email donor@dkms.org.uk and we’ll help you out.

Let's Nail Blood Cancer

One way you can get involved is by hosting a #LetsNailBloodCancer mani-pedicure party to help us cover donor registration costs. It costs DKMS £40 to register each potential blood stem cell donor and any money raised will go towards registering more donors. We’ve partnered with Barry M to bring you a kit to ensure your party is a hit.

Take action

DKMS Blackpool Volunteer Hub

There are lots of ways to get involved and support DKMS. We’ve got all the resources and toolkits you need to raise awareness, host a donor registration event and encourage people to sign up.

Patient and donor stories

Peter's search for a donor

Peter aims to use his myeloma diagnosis as a catalyst for change

Peter's wife Jenny, talks about her husband's battle with myeloma: "I love that [the kids] had such a positive role model – he was their big, strong, fearless dad taking on the world. What would give him another glorious 20 years, in which he can watch his boys grow into men, is a donor. He needs you. Peter needs a blood stem cell donor.”

Finn found his match

Finn’s Mum: “It was the toughest time of our lives. I can’t tell you how relieved we were when a match was found and Finn received his bone marrow transplant from a selfless stranger. That stranger is now a good friend who visits regularly from his home in Norfolk and has actually just left after travelling up to spend the day with our family and with Finn - a special relationship in lots of ways"

A patient and donor meet

Peter, 56, a father of four and grandfather to three, from North Yorkshire, was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome on 4 February 2015. “Aysha was the only match in the world for me and I was relieved when they told me they’d found someone. I was told that, without a match, I would have just five years to live but I think I would have been gone before that.”

Sonya donated via PBSC

Sonya in hospital ready to begin her blood stem cell donation collected by PBSC

"The morning of the donation I was linked up to special machines and spent a few hours watching Netflix while the stem cells were collected from my blood. The whole process was so simple and over in no time. I was even finished early enough for me and my boyfriend to go out for lunch!"

Henry donated bone marrow

“I donated my blood stem cells by a bone marrow collection, which only happens in 10% of cases. I didn’t find it a painful process at all and I think the build up of the procedure is actually greater in the mind than in the actual body. Following the donation I ached a little but it was literally the same aches that you would get after doing a bit of gardening.”

Robbie volunteers for DKMS

 DKMS Volunteer Robbie

"We get a real buzz out of donor recruitment events, the idea that we may have found a potential lifesaver motivates us to keep doing more." "We've registered over 2,500 people! Already, one person from an event has been identified as a match. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that someone’s life could now be saved."