Football vs Blood Cancer's goal is to run donor registration events across the UK's footballing world. By partnering with Associations, Clubs, Fan Groups and Ambassadors, we hope to increase the pool of lifesaving blood stem cell donors on the UK stem cell registry.
How football clubs, supporter groups and associations can help...
There are four ways to get involved, which can be tailored to fit your needs:
1. Donor registration events
2. Promotion and awareness raising
3. Patient experience
West Bromwich Albion FC
West Bromwich Albion FC players raised awareness about blood cancer by wearing DKMS t-shirts in replacement of their usual training tops. Players including Nacer Chadli and Hal Robson-Kanu also recorded video messages urging fans to register as potential lifesavers. The club also hosted a donor registration event for supporters at a home game and raised awareness of blood stem cell donation and DKMS on its big screen in the Hawthorns fanzone.
West Bromwich Albion’s Marketing Executive, Matt Taylor, said:
“We are delighted to be supporting DKMS, as this is a cause that can make such an amazing diﬀerence to people with a blood cancer. Registering as a potential blood stem cell donor only takes a few minutes but it is so important for those seeking a matching blood stem cell donor. Its fantastic that so many supporters signed up at our recent home game registration event for DKMS. If you didn’t sign-up then, it’s not too late to register, please visit dkms.org.uk, it could be one of the most important things you ever do.”
Reading FC forward Yann Kermorgant, who suffered from leukaemia when he was 14 years old, supported a donor registration event at Reading FC, ahead of a match day fan registration event. Yann said:
“I had to undergo treatment and was fortunate that it worked and I am able to play football again following having leukaemia as a teenager. Many people are not so lucky and find themselves needing a blood stem cell transplant when their treatment doesn’t work.
Football has a huge and passionate fan base and inspires those in the sporting community. Supporters can give those suffering with a blood cancer a second chance of life. Registering as a potential blood stem cell donor only takes a few minutes but it is so important for those seeking a matching donor.”
Everton Ambassador, Graeme Sharp, was part of a drive to encourage registrations for young blood cancer patient Finn’s campaign in 2015. He said:
“As a Club we really got involved in Finn’s campaign and we saw a massive rise in people registering as a result of the appeal. Getting involved was really easy to do and we had great support from DKMS throughout. The news that Finn found a match really did make it all worthwhile. Coupled with helping Finn find a match, we were also able to see what happens from a donor’s perspective. One of our staff members was a match for someone else and their donation could go on to save someone else’s life.
We still need many more people to register as finding a tissue match is very complex and the more people registered, the better the chance of more patients finding their lifesaving match.”
Be a role model
Role models within the footballing world inspire people to make a difference in ways often unreachable by other methods.
Supporting DKMS in it’s mission to register potential lifesavers can influence and lead the way for the wider public to get involved and make a difference. Don't just watch from the sidelines, make an impact!
Everton did just that when they invited Finn to meet his heroes.