About becoming a donor

How will the security of my data be ensured?

DKMS only records, processes and makes use of your personal data in accordance with your informed consent. We adhere to legal guidelines on the use of any data and only keep what is legally permissible and necessary in order to find a suitable stem cell donor.

The protection and security of your data is of paramount importance to us. We are registered and adhere to the Data Protection Act 2018 and ensure that all employees are fully up to date and trained in this Act. Your personal data will be stored in our secure DKMS database and only your anonymised data will be transmitted to registries to find out if you are a potential match for a patient (data such as HLA tissue characteristics, age and gender and donor number).

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 blood 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 blood stem cells?

Yes. We register anyone who is in good general health and aged between 17-55 years of age. If you are identified as a match, we ask all donors about their health including any medication they are taking. Taking PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis) may impact on your ability to donate but we would discuss this with you at the time.

Can you donate blood stem cells several times?

Occasionally, donors donate blood 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 blood 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.