12 March 2018
On Friday 9 March we reached an incredible milestone of eight million potential blood stem cell donors registered with DKMS worldwide thanks to the Sheffield community.
The milestone moment took place at a registration event at the University of Sheffield that encouraged the local community, staff and students to register.
Sheffield student William Chapman, 20, who is studying chemistry, was amazed that he helped us reach this incredible milestone. He said: “I had no hesitations in registering as a potential lifesaver and the initial registration process was straightforward. It’s really humbling to know that I’m now on standby to potentially save someone’s life. You too could help make a difference to someone in need so please take the time to register.”
Did you know?
Only a fraction of the Sheffield population have taken the first steps to register (8,522) and just under half of that figure (4,376) have returned their swab kit, which is required to be officially added to the UK Aligned Stem Cell Registry.
Out of the 4,376 donors on the registry, eight have been identified as a donor match from the community and have gone on to donate some of their blood stem cells giving someone a second chance at life.
Lifesaver from Sheffield
Elinor Bauchmuller, 37, a doctor, who registered with the charity in 2014, was one of the eight.
Elinor donated last year through a peripheral blood cell stem collection. This method is used in 90% of cases and the other 10% of collections are done through a bone marrow collection.
Elinor attended the event and talked about her donation experience: “It was something I’d heard about and had meant to register for years but hadn’t got around to doing it. I was on the registry for around three years before I received the call.
“I felt privileged to know that when someone needed me, my details were on the registry and I could help someone who desperately needed it. I would certainly be prepared to donate again if I was needed.”
William and Elionor with DKMS staff
Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer and around 2,000 people in the UK are in need of a blood stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor.
Lisa Nugent, Head of Donor Recruitment at DKMS said: “This year has so far been monumental for us as we mark our fifth year anniversary in the UK and reach our eight million potential lifesavers milestone worldwide. A huge thank you to everyone who has made this possible.
“We’ll continue our fight against blood cancer, registering as many potential lifesavers as possible. We will not stop until there is a match for everyone in need of a blood stem cell transplant.”
If you were unable to attend the donor drive event and aged between 17-55 and in general good health you can register as a potential blood stem cell donor online. We will then post a swab kit for you to do at home and return to us. Once we receive your swab kit, we’ll analyse your tissue type at our lab and add you to the stem cell registry in anonymised form.