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DKMS Case Study

PEP has partnered with DKMS UK to encourage more people within BAME communities to join the blood stem cell register.

DKMS is a global not for profit organisation that started in Germany in 1991. Today DKMS operates in Germany, USA, Poland, Chile, India and the UK.

DKMS is dedicated to the fight against blood cancer through recruiting stem cell donors and providing second chances at life. To date, DKMS has registered over 10 million potential blood stem cell donors worldwide, including over 739,000 people in the UK.

Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma.

For many people with a blood cancer or blood disorder a donation from a matching blood stem cell donor is their best and sometimes only chance of survival. In fact, every year 2,000 people in the UK are in need of an unrelated stem cell donor.

In the UK, only 2% of the population are on the blood stem cell register. Yet, people from BAME backgrounds make up just 13% of the aligned UK stem cell registry.  

Four-year-old Praise was diagnosed at birth with a rare hereditary immunodeficiency called chronic granulomatous disorder (CGD). The condition prevents white blood cells, which help the body to fight infections, from working correctly and a blood stem cell transplant offers the best chance of survival.

However, her Nigerian heritage meant she had a reduced chance of finding a suitable donor. As patients from a black, Asian or other minority backgrounds have a 20% chance of finding the best possible stem cell donor match, compared to 69% from northern European backgrounds.

The lack of BAME donors meant there was no ‘perfect’ match for Praise, so her transplant went ahead in September with the best possible match. 

DKMS is committed to finding every patient with blood cancer the perfect match and give them the best chance of survival.

The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on stem cell donor registrations with DKMS and our numbers are down by a staggering 50% compared to this time last year. We desperately need your help