On behalf of the award winners 2017, we.CONECT supported DKMS.
DKMS is a not for profit organization and was founded on May 28, 1991, by a private initiative and due to the blood cancer patient Mechtild Harf. With more than 7.1 million registered stem cell donors and international locations like Germany, the USA, Poland, Spain, and the UK, the DKMS family is the largest association of stem cell donor centers worldwide. At the present time, at least 18 DKMS members donate stem cells for blood cancer patients around the world each and every day.
Every 15 minutes someone is diagnosed with blood cancer in Germany. Whether children or adults – no one is safe from this disease but with the donation of stem cells, we may be able to defeat blood cancer. For a transplant of stem cells to be successful, the patient’s and donor’s tissue characteristics need to be an almost exact match – which is a challenge, since the probability of finding a perfect match lies anywhere between 1 in 20,000 and 1 in several millions. Therefore we need to get as many people as possible registered, to increase the chances of finding a matching donor for every blood cancer patient.
In principle, anyone between 17 and 55 years of age can be registered as a potential stem cell donor. The most important thing is that you are physically fit, do not suffer from any chronic diseases, and you don’t belong to any risk groups. Your tissue characteristics are determined by just using a simple swab from the inside of your cheek or by a blood sample. After providing DKMS with your swabs or blood samples and your signed consent form, you can be a part of the DKMS family – and get the opportunity to give a blood cancer patient a second chance at life. Individuals as well as entire families, companies, associations, and many celebrities have joined us in serving a good cause – with more and more signing up each and every day.