14 October 2020
More than two million people have registered to become potential blood stem cell donors in the UK, new figures released today reveal.
The UK’s aligned stem cell registry is made up of donors recruited by DKMS, Anthony Nolan, the Welsh Blood Service and NHS Blood and Transplant. A successful year in 2019/2020 saw 326,756 new donors added to the registry – over 100,000 more than the previous year.
Breaking down the numbers
In 2019/20 62% of people who donated blood stem cells or bone marrow to people in need were men under 30 from the UK. They are the demographic most likely to be chosen to donate, but make up just 19% of the UK stem cell register.
The percentage of all donors from minority ethnic backgrounds has remained steady at 13% in 2019/20, highlighting the importance of raising awareness of their lifesaving potential amongst this group. Patients from black, Asian or other minority backgrounds have a 20% chance of finding the best possible blood stem cell match from an unrelated donor, compared to 69% for northern European backgrounds.
Celebrating the milestone
Jonathan Pearce, CEO of DKMS UK said: “We’re delighted to have reached such an amazing milestone and are grateful to those two million people who are actively registered and waiting to help give someone living with blood cancer or a blood disorder a second chance of life.
“At any one time there are around 2,000 people in the UK in need of a blood stem cell transplant, so whilst we recognise this achievement it goes without saying that we need to continue to encourage everyone that can register to do so. This will help to grow the numbers and diversify the registry further in order to improve the odds for those who currently have less chance of finding a matching donor.”
How you can help
If you are between the ages of 17 – 55 and in good general health, you can go on standby to potentially save a life. Check your eligibility and sign up for your home swab kit today!
Find out other ways on how you can support the fight against blood cancer.