The DKMS Africa team are celebrating yet another hero donor; Anneke was able to donate a year after she registered as a Stem Cell Donor.
South Africa (31 October 2023) – DKMS Africa is celebrating yet another hero who has been a stem cell match and successfully donated life-saving stem cells to a person in need.
Anneke registered to be a donor in 2021 after witnessing several loved ones face cancer battles. Wanting to do her part in helping, she found DKMS and registered. One year later, she got a call letting her know that she had been matched with someone in need.
The DKMS team shared her story in the hope of inspiring more people to sign up as donors.
“When a matching donor is identified they undergo confirmatory typing and additional health checks to make sure that they are the perfect match. It’s important that a donor meets all the health requirements before they donate.
Both donor and patient health are prioritised and the donation takes place with the highest medical care.
When all tests were clear, Anneke got the news that she was indeed the best matching donor for the patient and could proceed with the donation.
“I was very excited and humbled to be a match as I knew that I would be giving someone hope. I would do it all over again in the blink of an eye,” shares the young lifesaver.
You can be a hero like Anneke!”
How to register
DKMS has registered over 10.5 million donors globally and facilitated more than 91,000 transplants; this means 91,000 second chances of life for patients suffering from a life-threatening blood disorder.
Having more donors improves the chances that a patient will be able to find their match. Getting more people to register means correcting longstanding misconceptions about what it means to be a bone marrow donor. Being a donor is not as painful, invasive or permanent as many people believe.
If you are between the ages of 18 – 55 and in general good health, request a swab kit at dkms-africa.org. It starts with a swab, and it ends with saving a life!
There are other ways to support blood cancer and blood disorder patients if you are not eligible to donate blood stem cells. You can help DKMS Africa spread awareness, host donor drives, contribute financially and order and distribute swab kits to your network. You can find out more here.
A South African is diagnosed with blood cancer or a blood disorder every 72 minutes.
Patients of African descent only have a 30% chance of finding a matching blood stem cell donor while white patients have a 79% chance. This is because of the ethnic underrepresentation on the global stem cell registry. We can change this by getting more people registered as blood stem cell donors.
Matches are not based on blood type but rather on your HLA characteristic (DNA). This means that a blood cancer patient’s match is most likely to come from someone in the same ethnic group which is why representation matters.
Becoming a donor starts by registering on the DKMS Africa website. A swab kit will be couriered to you and collected for free. Once your swab has been typed in their lab, you will be listed as an active donor on the global stem cell registry.
If you are found to be a match, their medical team will contact you directly via your listed contact number. The chances of being a match are 1 in 100 000 and you’ll only ever donate up to two times for the same patient.
The donation is done via the Peripheral Stem Cell Method which means there’s no surgery involved and it’s similar to donating blood or platelets.
All costs related to the donation process are taken care of by DKMS Africa. You will not be asked to pay for anything.