Check your eligibility
There are a few simple requirements to be eligible to become a donor.
Your age, area and health are importantSee if you are eligible
As a registered donor you may save someone's life!
Do you live in Germany?
Are you already registered with DKMS or another stem cell donor center (with a blood sample or cheek swab)?
Please enter your date of birth.
Have you been diagnosed with a chronic disease or any blood disorder?
Please enter your measurements
Thank you. You can become a donor!
As a registered donor, you give patients hope for a new chance at life.
Thank you for your willingness to help!
Take a look at our international locations. Maybe there’s a location near you.
Alternatively, support us with amonetary donation
Do you suffer from one of the following diseases or belong to one of the risk groups below?
If you have questions about the exclusion criteria, please call us at +49-(0)221-940-582-3551.
- Weight under 7 stone 12lbs/50kg
- Obesity (e.g. body mass index (BMI)>40)
- Severe illnesses of the central nervous system or mental illness
- Systematic autoimmune diseases or other severe chronic illnesses (e.g. diabetes or rheumatism)
- Cancer (including being cancer-free, but having had cancer in the past)
- Addictive disorder (alcohol, illicit or prescription drugs)
- Severe heart diseases
- Severe lung diseases
- Severe kidney diseases
- Severe metabolic diseases
- Severe tropical infectious diseases, particularly Malaria
- Infectious diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C and Syphilis
- Diseases of the hematopoietic System (blood disorders)
You are eligible as a stem cell donor without additional consultation if the following criteria (see brackets) apply to you:
- Enlarged Thyroid/Underactive Thyroid (Hypothyroidism)/Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (Stable and symptom free; also when taking Thyroid Hormones or iodide, no grave’s disease)
- High blood pressure (stable and well-controlled)
- Hay fever, mild asthma (without attacks), food allergy
- Unipolar depression (mild depression, no previous maniac episodes, without any limitations in daily life)
- Iron-deficiency anaemia (treatable with iron supplement)
- Basal cell carcinoma and cervical carcinoma in situ
DKMS is legally obligated to comply with the guidelines of the German Medical Association. More information
About stem cell donation
After registration, your tissue type is made available in the global search for potential stem cell donors. If you are found to be a possible match for someone in need of a stem cell donation, DKMS will contact you.
Peripheral stem cell collection
In around 80% of cases, the donation is carried out via peripheral blood stem cell collection. In this method, blood is removed from one arm, run through a machine to separate the stem cells and returned to the other arm.
Bone marrow collection
In around 10% of cases, bone marrow collection is used to collect blood stem cells from the bone marrow at the back of the pelvic bone.
If you receive a message from us indicating that you are a potential match, we will inform you about the next steps in detail. Below, we give you an overview of the stem cell donation process.
Health check and confirmatory typing (CT)
You will receive a detailed health questionnaire in order to detect any exclusion criteria – which might mean you are unable to donate your stem cells. This is followed by confirmatory typing, in which a blood sample is analyzed to confirm your tissue type.
Your blood sample is also tested for infectious agents (such as HIV or hepatitis viruses) and other factors. These results are used to determine whether you are a suitable match. From this point on, a personal contact at DKMS will be there to answer any questions you might have about stem cell donation.
Your decision to become a lifesaver
Various factors, including the health of the patient, determine whether you will be asked to donate your stem cells. If you are chosen, you should make a final decision regarding your commitment to the patient. After a final health check and consultation at the collection center, you will be asked to sign a consent form for the stem cell donation.
The collection method (peripheral stem cell collection or bone marrow donation) is determined by the treating doctor and is dependent on both your health and the health of the patient. All expenses will be covered and DKMS is there to help every step of the way.
Approximately one week before your donation appointment, the patient will begin chemotherapy and sometimes radiotherapy, in order to prepare their body for the stem cell donation. At this point in time, withdrawing from the donation procedure would have life-threatening consequences for the patient.
The donor will receive injections of a naturally occurring growth hormone (G-CSF) for five consecutive days prior to the collection, in order to stimulate the production of stem cells in the blood. The process is a non-surgical outpatient procedure which usually takes around four hours and can be spread over two days. The donor can usually return to work within one or two days.
Peripheral blood stem cell collection has been used in medicine since 1988 and was further developed by DKMS for use in stem cell donation since 1996. Donors may experience flu-like symptoms from the injections of the growth hormone (G-CSF), but these should subside within a few days and there are no known long-term side effects from either the donation procedure or the injections.
General anaesthetic is used for this method, in which a needle is inserted in the skin over the pelvic bone, in order to remove approximately one litre of liquid marrow containing blood stem cells. The process itself takes around one hour and a two night stay in hospital, meaning the donor can usually return to work within one week.
With bone marrow collection, any risks are associated to the general anaesthetic rather than the collection itself. Donors may experience local pain from the procedure, but usually fully recover within one week with no long-term side effects. Furthermore, donors undergo a full health test before donation, to ensure they are healthy and able to donate.