World Blood Cancer Day 2023

May 26, 2023

On May 28, it’s time to show support for people with blood cancer.

Every 27 seconds, someone in the world is diagnosed with blood cancer. A blood stem cell transplant from a donor is the best chance at a cure for many patients. Yet not everyone has an available match–either a family donor or an unrelated donor.

There are three ways to help:

  1. Register as a blood stem cell donor with DKMS or other blood stem cell donor registries.
  2. Raise money to add more people to worldwide registries and to help patients as they pursue transplant.
  3. Spread the word about the need for more blood stem cell donors, especially for those who have the most challenging time finding a match.

Registering as a donor is easy if you meet health guidelines–fill out an online health history questionnaire and swab the inside of your cheek with a swab kit mailed to your home. Not everyone will match and be asked to donate to a patient. But if you are called to donate, you'll donate in one of two ways:

  • Peripheral blood stem cell donation, which is now about 90 percent of donations, is a nonsurgical procedure similar to donating plasma or platelets. Donors are given injections of a drug called filgrastim for five days leading up to donation. This increases the number of blood-forming cells in the donor's bloodstream. On the day of donation, blood is removed from one arm, passed through a machine to collect the blood-forming cells, and the remaining blood is returned through a needle in the other arm.
  • Traditional bone marrow donation–10 percent of donations–is a surgical procedure that takes place in a hospital operating room. Donors are under anesthesia and feel no pain during the donation, which removes liquid marrow through the back of the pelvic bone.

If you’re chosen as a match for a patient, there’s a good chance your blood stem cells will travel to the patient’s bedside with the help of Peli BioThermal temperature-controlled packaging. The Peli BioThermal Crēdo ProMed™ carry bag safely delivers blood, platelets, blood stem cells and more to patients.

To learn more about blood cancer and to help patients, visit DKMS’s World Blood Cancer Day website.

Potential blood stem cell donors