Donor registration more important than ever

Stop of events until the end of the year leads to a strong decrease in new registrations - Baby Pauline and many other patients urgently need help


To protect the health of all people in Germany, the DKMS will no longer carry out public registration campaigns for blood cancer patients until the end of the year. Therefore the non-profit organization calls all healthy humans to 55 years urgently to it to register straight now on-line as potenzielle master cell donors: inside. Patient:innen like five-month-old Pauline from Berlin urgently needs a stem cell donation to survive - because blood cancer does not know a corona break.

Pauline is a sunny girl
"In order to protect the health of all people in the best possible way, we will continue to refrain from holding public events until further notice. But it is always possible to register online from home and motivate other people to do so. Please help and register," says Konstanze Burkard, Director of Donor Recruitment and Corporate Communications at DKMS. "Your help is needed more than ever.

Before the corona crisis, about 25,000 new donors were registered in the donor file every month at DKMS events throughout Germany. The DKMS suspended all meetings locally at the beginning of the Pandemie and reacted with alternative offers promptly to the changed situation: Beside the classical on-line registration over the homepage, one can organize now also on-line a registration action - for example for patients concerned in the family or friend circle. After all, around 8,000 people per month have already registered for such online campaigns between March and May 2020. But there is still a decline of about 60 percent due to the corona crisis - and thus a lot of catching up to do!

Even the little Berlin girl Pauline has not yet found her matching match. At the beginning of May, her parents received the devastating diagnosis of leukemia. "The moment of diagnosis changed everything," says Pauline's mum Jana. Even though the baby has not forgotten her toothless laugh despite the severe chemotherapy, the parents know that Pauline cannot survive without a suitable stem cell donor. Against the background of the Corona Pandemic, Jana and Pauline's dad Alexander have set up an online registration campaign together with the DKMS. "We are glad that we can call for registration via this channel," says Jana. "Because despite the pandemic, many patients still depend on life-saving stem cell donations. Anyone who wants to help Pauline can have the registration documents sent to their home address at with just a few clicks.

Currently, new registrations are more important than ever. The DKMS is particularly interested in young people from the age of 17: They are usually healthy and for medical reasons are often considered for an actual donation. And: They remain to the file many years as potential stem cell donors: inside. In 2019 alone, more than 66,000 donors have left the DKMS for age reasons.

"The online campaign is particularly suitable for addressing young people - after all, the main aim is to win as many new supporters as possible via social networks. We are trying to let everything that makes our big local actions so successful now take place on the net - even if the community feeling of a "real event" is of course hard to replace. But now it is time to break new ground, and in the end what counts is what we can all achieve together," says Konstanze Burkard.

Those who register online and order the registration kit at home perform the cheek swab on their own. This is easily done with the medical cotton swabs supplied and a simple instruction manual. However, while DKMS employees will then take care of the dispatch of all samples to the laboratory after an on-site registration, you are responsible for this yourself after an online registration. Unfortunately, an average of about 40 percent of the cotton swab sets are not returned after online orders. This is where initiators of online campaigns can help by not only calling for registration, but also reminding people to complete the registration process successfully by returning the set. The sooner the set is returned, the sooner the tissue characteristics can be determined and made available to all searching patients worldwide.