Googlers and friends get swabbing and be a lockdown lifesaver!

Pete's Story

Pete McCleave, 42, from Bunbury in Cheshire, has enjoyed a very comfortable life; he’s happily married with two beautiful children and, until recently, was working in financial services. Three years ago, Pete was diagnosed with acute myeloma - a rare and incurable blood cancer. He was advised that his best hope for survival was a blood stem cell transplant, and was given a maximum of seven years to live, unless a blood stem cell donor was found. No one in Pete’s family is a match; he is relying on a complete stranger to help save his life. So far, a match has been illusive and Pete’s search continues.

This is devastating news for anyone to contend with and for many it would stop them in their tracks. Not Pete! He has since embarked on a global search to find a matching donor for him and the many others that need one by launching 10, supported by blood cancer charity DKMS. Since the start of Pete’s campaign nearly 47,000 people have registered as blood stem cell donors and amazingly matches have been found for 15 people. Just not his. Yet.

Pete has boundless energy which he has channeled into raising awareness and fundraising antics such as the Crumball Rally, which he completed in 2019. Incredibly he has raised over £70,000 for DKMS. He has given so much to others and now he needs your help.

If you are eligible, aged between 17-55 and would like to help Pete and others like him, please register for a home swab kit and take that first step in becoming a potential lifesaver.

Adams Story

Adam's donation of stem cells

Adam, Regional Lead for UK Public Sector in Google Cloud first came across DKMS back in the autumn of 2016 when a fellow Googler, Hal Cohen, hosted an event in the 123 offices to raise awareness and to encourage people to register as a potential blood stem cell donor.

“All I had to do initially was complete a form and do some cheek swabs. Unbelievably, a few weeks later DKMS rang me to advise me that I was a potential match for someone suffering from leukaemia.

“Further tests confirmed I was indeed a match, and, after some treatment to boost my body’s stem cell production, I spent half a day in a private hospital clinic for the donation, where 7.2 million stem cells were collected and delivered to the waiting donor, who urgently needed them."

“It only took a few days for my body to recover, which is nothing, because I learned that I had helped a gentleman in the USA who had blood cancer. I have since found out, that he has recovered from the cancer and is now able to enjoy a happy life with his family."

“I can’t recommend the process enough. It’s crazy to think that I’m just a 37 year old man who has changed the life of someone on the other side of the world. It’s so rewarding; it’s not just life changing for someone else, it changes your own life.”

Adam is a prime example of how taking the time to register can help save a life… someone like Pete

With only 2% of the UK population on the blood stem cell register, it’s a numbers game and we are seeking more potential lifesavers! COVID-19 has substantially impacted the number of people registering to become a blood stem cell donor but the number of people needing a transplant keeps growing.

Do something amazing. Request a home swab kit today and become a potential lifesaver – a lockdown lifesaver!

If you’re not eligible or you’re already registered, why not check out the other ways to get involved in the fight against blood cancer or help us cover donor registration costs

Every 20 minutes, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer. This diagnosis is devastating, and during the corona virus outbreak, it is even more crucial that we do all we can to offer hope to people with blood cancer and blood disorders. We have seen the numbers of people joining the blood stem cell register decline dramatically in recent times, and now, more than ever before, we need you to sign up. For many, a blood stem cell donation is their best chance of recovery and only 30% of people find a match within their family. This means the remainder will need to find an anonymous blood stem cell donor, and that could be you.

Information about registration

Registering as a blood stem cell donor is easy, simply check your eligibility and request your home swab kit. Once you receive the kit, you will need to swab the inside of your cheek, following the instructions on the pack, before sending them back to us. Once we receive your swabs, they are processed in our lab to determine you tissue typing. Your typing is then stored, in an anonymised form, on the global database. This means you can be identified as a match for anyone in the world

A note about Coronavirus

We understand there are lots of worries and concerns around coronavirus and would like to reassure you that it is completely safe to request and send in your swabs.

If you're a match

If you are identified as a match, you will donate in one of two ways. In the majority of cases this is via a process called “Peripheral Blood Stem Cell collection”, which is a little like giving blood. In 10% of cases, the stem cells are taken from your bone marrow, under general anaesthetic. The method of donation is chosen by the patients team based on what is most suitable for them.

Together we will beat blood cancer.

To register as a blood stem cell donor, you need to be between 17-55, in general good health and not registered with another donor centre. To check your eligibility and request your swab kit, follow the link below.

It costs us £40 to register a new donor on the UK stem cell registry. As a charity, we rely on monetary donations from the public to help cover this cost and greatly appreciate any contribution, no matter how big or small.

If you are unable to register as a potential donor, we would be very grateful if you could consider making a contribution towards the cost of a registration.