About becoming a donor

Why does registering cost money?

DKMS is a charity and relies on monetary donations to cover donor recruitment costs. The cost of the registration for one potential donor is £40.

Tissue typing is the determination of your tissue characteristics from your swab through analysis by a laboratory. We have to fund all registration costs entirely through voluntary monetary donations. This is why we are grateful to those who are able to support us by making a monetary donation to cover the cost of their own registration, and also for those who contribute towards this cost.

Will I permanently lose my stem cells?

If you choose to donate some of your blood stem cells, you won't actually lose them. Your blood stem cells completely replenish themselves within 2-4 weeks.

I am homosexual, am I allowed to donate my stem cells?

Yes. We register anyone who is in good general health and aged between 17-55 years of age.

Can you donate stem cells several times?

Occasionally, donors donate stem cells more than once to the same patient. Very occasionally, a donor will be asked to donate more than once to different patients, although this very seldom happens. In all cases, once you have donated, you will be set to inactive on the database for a period of at least 2 years.

Why isn’t stem cell collection possible in all major clinics?

Collecting blood stem cells is a highly skilled procedure and unfortunately not all clinics have the technological capabilities and expertise needed to do this.

I am already registered. Can I still register with DKMS too?

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.

Can potential donors cancel their confirmed and committed blood stem cell donation?

If you change your mind about being a potential donor, you are able to withdraw your consent at any time by contacting the DKMS team. However, if you have been contacted to be a match, you should be aware that withdrawing could have an impact on the patient’s health. In the preparation stage, a patient will receive treatment which prepares them for your stem cell donation. If a withdrawal occurs at this late stage, the patient may not be able to survive without the subsequent donation of your stem cells.