#WearItRed for WBCD

5 May 2020

As World Blood Cancer Day (28 May) quickly approaches, and we continue to follow the government’s social distancing guidance, you can still help to support people with blood cancer whilst keeping safe.


Global awareness day

World Blood Cancer Day, (WBCD) was started in 2014 and is our global awareness day dedicated to the fight against blood cancer. It was important for us to show our patients that we’re all in this together  and to demonstrate  our commitment in trying to find a matching donor for every blood cancer patient in need of a blood stem cell donation.

Wear It Red

There are a number of ways you can show solidarity with over 70,000 people searching globally for a blood stem cell donation outside of their family each year (over 2,000 in the UK).

These could include: requesting a swab kit and becoming a potential blood stem cell donor, spreading the word to your friends and family members so they join the register as well, or you could simply make a monetary donation to help us in our work.

However, on this 6th WBCD celebration – we’re also asking you to do something very visible - Wear It Red on 28th May to support DKMS and people with blood cancer.

The Redder the better

Whether you decide to don a red jumper, put on red shoes or apply red lipstick, it’s totally up to you In fact, you could really go for it and as far as we’re concerned  - the redder the better! Why not share a selfie wearing something red and tag @DKMS_UK in on social media?

More than ever, we’re in urgent need of potential lifesavers. Over the last couple of months, stem cell donor registrations with DKMS is down by a staggering  50% compared to this time last year.

Yet, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, there are still thousands of families across the country in desperate need for a donor to match with their loved one through a blood stem cell transplant. So why not do something very special this year and sign up for your home swab kit?

Celebrity and MP support

We’re asking people across the UK to join together with celebrities including; Countdown’s presenter Rachel Riley, Al Murray and footballer Anton Ferdinand who will be showing their support and wearing it red this year. There will also be political support too from Henry Smith, MP for Crawley and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary and also Harriett Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire.

More donors needed

Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer, such as leukaemia, myeloma, lymphoma or aplastic anaemia. For most people there is no single cure. Yet, a blood stem cell donation from a genetically similar person can offer the best treatment and a second chance of life.

Sadly, during the Covid-19 pandemic we saw potential lifesavers registration figures have fallen by almost a quarter (24%) against target numbers. We urgently need more lifesavers to help our blood cancer patients!

How you can help

It costs us £40 to register just one potential blood stem cell donor and we rely on donations to support the costs of these registrations. While many of our supporters contribute towards the cost of their registration, not all are able to do so. Any funds you can donate, no matter the size, can make a huge difference and help to give blood cancer patients a second chance of life.

If you are aged between 17 and 55 and in good general health take the first step to register as a blood stem cell donor by registering for your home swab kit at www.dkms.org.uk.