DKMS Foundation

This charity was established in Germany when it’s founder, Dr Peter Harf lost his wife in 1991 to blood cancer, after unsuccessfully finding a life-saving blood stem cell donor. Today, 27 years later, DKMS is an international charity with offices in Chile, Germany, the USA and of course the UK.

The charity is dedicated to the fight against blood cancer in all its forms. To ensure this happens, they raise awareness, recruit blood stem cell donors and raise funds to match donor registration costs, and most importantly improve blood cancer therapies by their research. They have more than 8 million potential donors registered in the DKMS community and have given 69,000 second-chances of life to people with blood cancer.

It’s not enough though, they still require more donors around the world and there are many many people out there still unable to find a matching donor when needed.

So, what is blood cancer?

To understand blood cancer, we need to be in the know what how important blood actually is to our bodies. Blood flows through our vessels and supplies our organs and tissues with nutrients, which three blood cell types are responsible for, with different functions that are crucial to human life (e.g. giving our muscles oxygen, or helping with healing open cuts and wounds).

Blood cells are created within the bone marrow (e.g. in the thigh bone or pelvic bone). When a blood cell dies, the body must generate a new one to replace it, and in doing so hundreds of billions of these are made everyday in order to keep us in tip top shape.

Blood cancer occurs when defects in blood cells stop the natural “maturation" and death of cells - these enter the bloodstream and multiply uncontrollably, meaning by pure volume, they crowd out the healthy cells and therefore stops blood from being effective.

Progress and impact

Focussing on the UK, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer every 20 minutes. That’s 72 everyday. Over 26,000 per year.

DKMS opened its doors in 2013 and have registered over 400,000 people as potential blood stem cell donors, and have given over 500 patients that second chance at life.

How far do donations go

£40 covers the cost of registering one potential blood stem cell donor

What else can supporters do?

The most direct impact a supporter can have in helping DKMS beat blood cancer, is registering as a potential blood stem cell donor. Supporters can do this by holding a public registration even, or encouraging your company to get involved and help you organise one at your place of work. Another great place to organise an event like this is your university campus. DKMS staff will always be on hand to help with anything supporters need - find more information in the donor recruitment section of their website.


Ashburnham House, Castle Row, Horticultural Place
W4 4JQ


Contact Number

020 8747 5620