Thanks for making your mark on World Blood Cancer Day 2017

2 June 2017

Last Sunday marked the fourth annual World Blood Cancer Day, an independent awareness day created by DKMS in 2014. World Blood Cancer Day was created to show that we are all in this together to achieve our common goal – to provide a matching donor for every blood cancer patient in need of a blood stem cell donation.

DKMS marked the day with various events and activities in the UK, Germany, Poland and the US, asking you to ‘make your mark’ and show solidarity with blood cancer patients worldwide.

Here in the UK, donor recruitment events were organised across the country to register new potential blood stem cell donors. The events saw an additional 300+ individuals registered, whilst also raising funds to help support the registration of new donors.

World Blood Cancer Day Aztec Group donor registration event

A ‘lunch and learn’ session was organised in collaboration with global CRM software and cloud computing solutions provider Salesforce. The ‘lunch and learn’ initiative helped educate employees about blood cancer. As part of the session, a fundraising event took place on the day, which saw Salesforce employee, Steve Harding, shave his hair off to help raise vital funds in support of our work, as he has a personal connection to blood cancer. To date, Steve has raised more than £3,500. Find out more and show your support on Steve’s JustGiving page.

World Blood Cancer Day UK Salesforce lunch and learn

Our Corporate Partnerships team hosted a networking event at Park Plaza where guests, including Park Plaza clients and the DKMS corporate steering group, registered as new potential blood stem cell donors. The event also extended the reach of DKMS to a new audience and raised hundreds of pounds.

World Blood Cancer Day Park Plaza event

On World Blood Cancer Day, 28 May, BBC South featured a story on Zac Giles who had recently received a blood stem cell donation and was recovering at home. Thanks to his donor, Zac has been given a second chance of life. After watching the news piece, more than 100 people registered with us as potential blood stem cell donors and the number continues to climb.

Zac Giles

A nationwide fundraising appeal, inspired by World Blood Cancer Day, continues. The appeal encourages supporters to make a donation and take a selfie with the ‘&’ symbol, spreading the word about blood cancer to their followers, by sharing it on their social media channels. You can take part by visiting our JustGiving page.

World Blood Cancer Day fundraising appeal selfie

To help spread the word about the World Blood Cancer Day message a Thunderclap campaign was set-up and gained more than 340 supporters with a total social reach of more than 461,000. The hashtag #wbcd, and other hashtags relating to the day were shared a total of 1,800+ times.


In Germany, DKMS organised a special donor and patient meeting in Stuttgart, and an organisation supporting children suffering from blood cancer celebrated their 25th anniversary in western Germany.

WBCD donor patient meeting in Stuttgart, Germany


In Poland, a media conference in Warsaw gave insights into the social costs of blood cancer. The Warsaw Spire was also illuminated for World Blood Cancer Day – an impressive sight that could be seen across the city!

WBCD Warsaw Spire illumination Poland – credited to: @robertszaban/photography Robert Szaban
Image credit: @robertszaban/photography Robert Szaban


In the US, DKMS attended a Mets baseball game, raising awareness and honoring blood cancer patients, and blood stem cell donors. The iconic Empire State Building was also illuminated in red for World Blood Cancer Day.

WBCD Empire State Bilding illumination USA – credited to: @ericvitalephotography
Image credit: @ericvitalephotography

Thank you!

We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped make this year’s World Blood Cancer Day a success. Your support is making a difference in the fight against blood cancer!