Hospital staff answer the call

UHDB organizes drives for stem cell donors, inspired by a young leukaemia patient.


From Monday, Monday 11 March to Friday 15 March, staff at the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton (UHDB) organized what is believed to be the biggest stem cell registration drive ever held by an NHS trust in the UK. The goal was to encourage more individuals to join the DKMS stem cell register, offering more second chances at life to blood cancer patients and people blood disorders. The drive successfully registered 265 people in person across 10 sites, with an additional 34 signing up online.

Family bonds inspire community support

The motivation behind the drives came from a deeply personal experience. Last year, Daniel Greer, a 14-year-old, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and needed a bone marrow transplant. His cousin, Maggie Fearon, a Breast Care Nurse at UHDB, took the initiative to rally her colleagues for support. Moved by Daniel's situation, two events were organized across UHDB sites, leading to 241 potential donors registering with DKMS. Maggie praised the kindness of those who supported this year’s recruitment drive, saying: "It's been a remarkable achievement, and we hope to see the number of online sign-ups increase. This way, we can continue to give others like Daniel a second chance at life."

Daniel's journey continues to inspire us all. Despite facing additional health challenges, the support and care he has received from UHDB staff and the wider community have been a source of strength and hope for him and his family. Daniel's mum Anne shared: "We will always be grateful to the kind strangers who supported the 'Do it for Daniel' campaign last year and to know that UHDB has done another donation drive to help more families like ours is incredible”.

People registering at the UHDB stem cell drives
Volunteers at the UHDB stem cell drives

From donor drive to stem cell donation

DKMS is so grateful to all the volunteers and participants who made these drives possible. Special thanks go to Maggie, whose initiative led to these events, and to Duncan Cameron, the General Manager of the Cancer Business Unit at UHDB, who coordinated the bone marrow donation drive. He shared: "It was amazing to see the response from our staff to the bone marrow register drive last year and how everyone got behind the ‘Do it for Daniel’ campaign. It's remarkable to know that someone from our recruitment drive last year has gone on to donate their blood stem cells to someone in need of a transplant."

If you would like host your own donor registration event, you can reach out to us here.

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