Blood Cancer charity thanks the North West for registering as donors – In Your Area

By daniellenierenberg

InYourArea Community

Blood Cancer charity DKMS thanks the public in the North West for going against the grain and registering as blood stem donors.

DKMS is thanking people in the North West this Blood Cancer Awareness Month (September, 1-30 2020) for registering as blood stem cell donors during lockdown. The North West has provided the fourth highest number of registrations during lockdown. However there is still an urgent need for registrations to help meet the demand and reverse the shocking decline in new registrations in recent times and potentially help save a life.

Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer and it is the third most common cause of cancer death in the UK. A stem cell transplant can be the last hope of survival for patients and during the coronavirus outbreak, it is even more important to offer hope to people with devastating blood cancers and blood disorders, whose lives have also been harmed by the pandemic.

A blood stem cell donation from a genetically similar person can offer a second chance at life for those in need. Only 1 in 3 people with blood cancer (and in need of a transplant) will find a matching blood stem cell donor within their own family which means that 2 in 3 need to look outside of this and rely on an altruistic stranger to help give them more time with their family.

Many people are unaware of how they can donate blood stem cells. Around 90% of all donations are made through a method called peripheral blood stem cell. While just 10% of cases, donations are made through bone marrow collection, which contrary to what people think, is not extracted from the spine but from the pelvic bone.

DKMS Donor Recruitment Manager, Louise Clague, 50, from Cheshire joined the fight against blood cancer and is on a mission to register as many potential blood stem cell donors as possible after her husband, Andy Clague, died in December 2017, aged 46, following a two-year battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Louise said: Raising awareness of blood cancer and how people can become potential blood stem cell donors has partly been my way of dealing with grief and having something where you feel like youre making a difference. I have a son and a daughter who are now 14 and 17 who have lost a dad. You dont want other people to go through the same ordeal.

"We were referred to as the fit family and we have no history of the condition in the family but it happened to us. So that is part of the message, it could be you and if it happened to you and your family, would you give your blood stem cells? I think a lot of people would and I think people havent signed up yet because theyve never come across the condition."

Taking the first steps to register as a potential blood stem cell donor can be done within a few minutes from the comfort of your own home. If you are aged between 17-55 and in general good health you can sign up for a home swab kit on the DKMS website. Your swabs can then be returned with the enclosed pre-paid envelope to DKMS in order to ensure that your details are added to the UKs aligned stem cell registry.

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Blood Cancer charity thanks the North West for registering as donors - In Your Area

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