Press Release

DKMS hosts annual gala at London’s Natural History Museum

David Walliams opened the evening and 11-year old James met Luke, his donor, who saved his life.


May 25, 2023, London

DKMS is one of the most significant non-profit organisations in the world to fight blood cancer. The star-studded gala on Thursday, 25 May at London’s Natural History Museum raised £1.5 million. David Walliams, one of TV’s biggest personalities, opened the evening together with Katharina Harf, Chairman DKMS Global. Lord Harry Dalmeny, Sotheby's Chairman, UK & Ireland, motivated the audience in his entertaining way to make financial contributions directly to the DKMS life-saving mission.

In attendance was supermodel Naomi Campbell, Olympic gold medallist Tom Daley in a gold suit to match who recently welcomed his second child via surrogate with husband Dustin Lance Black, 'The Power' actress Alice Eve in a sheer pink number, professional basketball player Ovie Soko, 'SAS Who Dares Win' host Jay Morton and Bvgalri Ambassador Gena West in a bold red and green gown. Other attendees who were drinking prosecco amongst the fossils of the museum included actor Basil Eidenbenz and Lilly Princess zu Sayn Wittgenstein looking elegant.

Patient and donor meeting

The Gala featured the special moment when 11-year-old James Benzel from Nebraska met his lifesaving donor, Police Constable Luke Bugdol, from Doncaster, South Yorkshire on stage for the first time.

David Walliams introduced the pair - he mentioned in his opening speech that “DKMS supports groundbreaking research but their main mission is to sign up donors and they are brilliant at it.”

Raising awareness and funds to fight blood cancer

The evening brought together over 500 key supporters, who continue to help raise awareness and crucial funds for blood cancer patients in need of a stem cell transplant. All funds raised will go to save patients worldwide by recruiting more donors and giving access to treatment and research.

DKMS has offices in seven countries and has registered over 11 million donors worldwide. As a result, over 100,000 DKMS donors have provided second chances at life to patients in over 60 countries. 2,000 of these lifesavers came from the UK alone. Blood cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death in the UK, with more than 39,000 people diagnosed every year. There are many more lives that can be saved.

“This year’s DKMS London Gala showed how globally connected we are. The funds we raised enable us to give patients with blood cancer a second chance at life. DKMS will always be committed to continuing its mission to help as many patients as possible around the world,” says Katharina Harf, Chairman DKMS Global.

Sue Y. Nabi, Coty Chief Executive Officer and Gala Chair comments: “We at Coty are so proud to have worked beside DKMS for over 30 years. DKMS science-driven mission deeply resonates with us at Coty as we aim to offer a new, innovative and simply better version of beauty. We want to give people confidence and empower them to be fearlessly kind to themselves, to others and to the world.”

This year's honorary chairs were DKMS founder Peter Harf and his daughters, Chairman DKMS Global Katharina Harf and Viktoria von Wulffen, as well as long-time DKMS supporter Olivier Goudet, CEO JAB, with his wife Valérie Goudet.


About DKMS

DKMS is one of the most significant non-profit organisations in the world to fight blood cancer. Founded in Germany in 1991 by Dr. Peter Harf, DKMS has since relentlessly pursued the aim of giving as many patients as possible a second chance at life. With more than 11 million registered donors, DKMS has succeeded in doing this over 100,000 times to date by providing blood stem cell donations to those in need. This accomplishment has led to DKMS becoming the global leader in the facilitation of unrelated blood stem cell transplants. The organisation has offices in Germany, the US, Poland, the UK, Chile, South Africaand India. Our international expansion is key to helping patients worldwide. Blood cancer knows no borders. DKMS is also heavily involved in the fields of research and science to improve the survival and recovery rate of patients.

About JAB

JAB Holding Company invests in consumer-focused industries with attractive long-term dynamics, including strong growth prospects, attractive margin and cash flow characteristics, and proven resiliency. JAB is the largest shareholder of Keurig Dr Pepper Inc., a leader in the North American beverage industry, and Krispy Kreme, Inc. a global leader in doughnuts and other premium-quality sweet treats. JAB is also the controlling shareholder of Coty Inc., a global leader in beauty. Together with JAB Consumer Partners, JAB is the controlling shareholder of JDE Peet’s, one of the largest pure-play fastmoving consumer goods coffee company in the world; National Veterinary Associates, one of the world’s largest animal care services platforms; Independence Pet Group, a leading provider of pet insurance in North America; Pinnacle Pet Group, a leading provider of pet insurance in Europe; Panera Brands Inc., one of the world’s largest fast-casual restaurant companies, which includes Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels; Pret A Manger, a leading company in the ready-to-eat food market; and Espresso House, the largest branded coffee shop chain in Scandinavia. JAB Holding Company also owns luxury goods company Bally.


Founded in Paris in 1904, Coty is one of the world’s largest beauty companies with a portfolio of iconic brands across fragrance, colour cosmetics, and skin and body care. Coty serves consumers around the world, selling prestige and mass market products in more than 130 countries and territories. Coty and our brands empower people to express themselves freely, creating their own visions of beauty; and we are committed to making a positive impact on the planet. Learn more at or on LinkedIn and Instagram.

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