Black History Month Appeal Blood Cancer charity calls for more diverse blood stem cell registry

A blood cancer charity has said that the blood stem cell registry needs to be more diverse to ensure that those from non-white backgrounds have a better chance of finding a matching donor. DKMS, a charity that recruits potential blood stem cell donors, has said that those in need of a lifesaving blood stem cell donation are most likely to find a matching donor from a similar ethnic background. That is why it is calling on more people who have a black, as well as Asian or minority ethnic background, to register as potential blood stem cell donors during Black History Month.

A blood stem cell donation is the only chance of survival for many blood cancer and blood disorder patients. Sadly, many patients will not find a matching donor and patients from BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) backgrounds face significant challenges in finding a suitable match. This isn’t because a match doesn’t exist, it’s simply because there aren’t enough people registered as donors. That is why DKMS works to increase the size and diversity of the blood stem cell registry.

Caroline Portlock, Head of Donor Recruitment at the charity said:

“While it is important that we continue to increase the numbers of people who are registered as potential blood stem cell donors, it is just as important that the registry is as diverse as it is large. That is why we need people from all backgrounds to register as potential blood stem cell donors.”