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.