Elspeth

Elspeth Roberts, 38 from Morecombe was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2015. She underwent chemotherapy but relapsed and doctors said she would need a blood stem cell transplant. Thankfully, a donor was identified and the transplant was a success.

Whilst Elspeth was unwell, she and her friends reached out to DKMS in 2017 and successfully recruited a number of people to stem the blood stem cell register. Elspeth is now well and enjoying life to the full. She remains passionate about getting as many people as possible to join the blood stem cell registry so donors are waiting for help people with blood cancer. Indeed, she hopes one day to meet the person who gave her a second chance at life, her donor.

She also runs the Wise Up cic workshops in her local community that uses drama and other techniques to provide better mental health provision for blood cancer patients. She will also be raising money for DKMS by walking around her garden for 12 hours on 15th May and as a result, hopes that more people will come forward and become potential blood stem cell donors.

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.