One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their life, but there is a way to save the lives of those living with blood cancer. For a large number of patients with blood cancer their only chance of survival is a blood stem cell transplant.
Registering as a potential blood stem cell donor only takes a few minutes, yet only 2% of the UK are signed up.
Swabbed, Sealed, Delivered is a campaign aiming to encourage more people to sign up to the stem cell register. This campaign is being delivered by DKMS supporter Lisa in partnership with DKMS and PR agency DDA.
Here are some ways you can help:
Sharing a picture/video of yourself on your social media channels talking about the campaign and the urgent need for people to sign up to the stem cell register to help save a life.
Using the hashtag #SwabbedSealedDelivered
Signing up to the stem cell register by ordering a free swab kit, and sharing a picture/video of yourself swabbing. Also don’t forget to send your kit back to DKMS to complete your registration.
In 2016 Lisa was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia and was told her best chance of survival was a stem cell transplant.
Fortunately Lisa’s sister was the perfect match and was able to donate her stem cells and save Lisa’s life. She was lucky to find her perfect match within her own family, only 1 in 3 people find a matching donor within their family. Every year in the UK 2,000 people with blood cancer rely on the kindness and generosity of a stranger to find their match.
Lisa knows how lucky she was and now supports DKMS to raise awareness and encourage others to get on the blood stem cell register.
Lisa comments on how the partnership with DDA came about:
“I was randomly sat next to their president at dinner and we talked about DKMS and the need to get more people on the stem cell register. Neil was really keen to help. He gave me his card and asked me to email him the next day. I was a little nervous as to whether a new day might not hold the same level of interest for him, but turned out he was determined to help.”
“We had a couple of initial meetings but then covid put a stop to proceedings but now we are back with a fantastic campaign launching on 9th November 2020.”
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.
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.