Blood Cancer Awareness Month

#YouveGotItInYou


Blood Cancer Awareness Month takes place every September. It’s an opportunity to raise awareness of blood cancers and disorders, and also the incredible second chance at life that blood stem cell donors give to those in need.
Did you know that in the UK, every 20 minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer or disorder? And that for most people a blood stem cell donation from a stranger with similar DNA is their best – or only – chance of survival?
This Blood Cancer Awareness Month, we want to find out if you’ve got it in you to be a lifesaver-in-waiting. Take the first step towards saving a life and request a swab kit – or help support us to do so by covering the costs of registration.

Request a swab kit to become a potential 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.

Why we urgently need more donors

Every year, more than 2,000 people in the UK are in need of a potentially lifesaving blood stem cell donation from an unrelated person. Four out of ten of those people won’t find a match. With thousands of possible DNA types, we need to grow the registry if we want to give every person in need a fighting chance. Currently only 2% of the UK population is on the blood stem cell register.

Gareth and his wife

"To get that call, that’s when the superhero feeling kicked in"
- Gareth's PBSC donor story

Scott after his race

"My work were so supportive throughout the whole process"
- Scott's bone marrow donor story

Lisa during her donation

"This should be a walk in the park compared to Braxton Hicks and labour"
- Lisa's PBSC donor story

HELP US TO REGISTER MORE LIFESAVERS

It costs us £40 to register just one potential blood stem cell donor and while many of our supporters contribute towards the cost of their registration, not all are able to do so.

Your donation, no matter the size, will make a difference today! Every single penny that we receive will go towards the cost of registering new potential donors.

Together we can save more lives.

We accept:

Other ways you can help

Return your swabs

Post your swabs back today

If you’ve registered but have yet to return your swab kit, it’s crucial that you return it to us. 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 us and we’ll help you out.

Help us grow

Bradley Bowman

There are many ways to get involved and help our mission. From running your own donor recruitment event to a fundraising challenge to raising awareness, find out how else you can join the fight against blood cancer.

Spread the word

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 get involved in our online community this month.