This Black History Month, DKMS UK are taking the opportunity to celebrate the many black lifesavers that have donated their blood stem cells and given people a second chance of life, as well as the patients we have supported. Being a donor is a selfless way to give back to your community and to help someone who you've never even met because you know that you're the only one who can. We believe every person on the register should be proud to be a blood stem cell donor.
Crucially, Black History Month is also a time to raise awareness. As it stands, patients from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds only have a 20% chance of finding the best possible blood stem cell donor match, compared to 69% from northern European backgrounds. This simply has to change.
This Black History Month we will be doing all we can to spread the word on just how crucial it is for more black people to join the register, and how this simple action may mean the difference between life and death for a patient with blood cancer or a blood disorder.
Currently, donors from black backgrounds only represent 2.3% of the UK stem cell donor register. A patient will most likely be matched with someone from the same ethnic background as themselves, but black donors are still massively under-represented on the UK register. Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with blood cancer and often a blood stem cell donation is the best – and sometimes the only - treatment method to help give someone a second chance of life.
We are committed to doing all we can to make sure that everyone, regardless of their ethnicity or background, has the chance to find a matching donor. But we can't make this happen without you.
This Black History Month, please consider joining the register. It’s quick and easy to do, and you just never know who you could be a match for!