On Siblings Day, public asked to join global family of registered donors

7th April 2016

On Siblings Day, public asked to join global family of registered donors to help blood cancer patients whose own siblings can’t save their life.

On Siblings Day (10th April), the charity Delete Blood Cancer UK is calling for more people to register as potential blood stem cell donors to help those who don’t have a sibling that can donate to them. With thousands of people with a blood cancer or blood disorder urgently needing a blood stem cell donation for their survival, the charity is highlighting that only 30 per cent will find a donor within their own family, which is usually their sibling. It says that, with the rest relying on the altruism of an unrelated donor, it is crucial that as many people as possible register as potential blood stem cell donors.

For many people with a blood cancer or blood disorder, a donation of blood stem cells from another person that enables their body to develop a healthy immune system is their best chance of staying alive. However, many are still dying as a result of blood cancers and blood disorders because they can’t benefit from this procedure as nobody with a compatible tissue type can be found, in their family or among those registered as potential blood stem cell donors.

It doesn’t mean that there is nobody with a tissue type that is compatible to the patient. There could be someone with a tissue type that matches the patient’s who could save their life, but tragically, they are not registered as a potential blood stem donor. That’s why Delete Blood Cancer UK works to raise awareness of the importance of registering, and recruits potential blood stem cell donors.

Speaking about how few blood cancer and blood disorder patients find matching donors within their families, Jenny Clegg, Head of Communications at the charity, said: “While some of those in need of a blood stem cell donation for their survival can find a matching donor within their family, most can’t. Instead, their only hope of staying alive is finding a match among those registered as potential blood stem cell donors. So please, on Siblings Day, take a few minutes to register as a potential blood stem cell donor to help everyone who doesn’t have a sibling who can save their life.”

You can register in just five minutes online and request a cheek swab kit that will enable you to do your own tissue test, to go on the database to maybe one day become a blood stem cell donor, through the Delete Blood Cancer UK website: www.deletebloodcancer.org.uk

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Contact:
• For further information please contact Una Farrell, PR & Communications Manager, on 020 8747 5642 or at una.farrell@deletebloodcancer.org.uk

Note to editors:
• Delete Blood Cancer UK launched in the UK in February 2013. Our key mission is to recruit, retain and motivate potential stem cell donors to save patients’ lives. We are part of the DKMS family of organisations worldwide.
• Please communicate our website details: www.deletebloodcancer.org.uk for public information on how to register as a potential stem cell donor, stem cell donation and news.