Every 27 seconds, someone around the world is diagnosed with blood cancer or a blood disorder.
DKMS Africa, an international non-profit organisation, has made it easier for you and your team to join the fight against blood cancer by hosting your very own virtual donor drive to recruit blood stem cell donors to form part of the global registry and save lives.
Who they are
Formally known as The Sunflower Fund, DKMS Africa partnered with a German blood stem cell registry found in 6 entities across the world in 2021 to advance their mission to fight blood cancer and ensure that every blood cancer patient in need of transplant finds their genetic match. The organisation, having run for 30 years in 7 countries and five continents around the world, has continued to help people find unrelated matching donors which currently stands at 1 in 100 000.
Black, Coloured, Indian and Asian blood cancer patients being significantly under-represented on the global registry their chances of finding a genetic match stand at 19%, while patients of European descent have a 75% chance. This makes having a donor registry that is reflective of South Africa’s diversity a critical matter for all South Africans.
The virtual drive
DKMS Africa has created a custom landing page on their website to motivate and encourage people to join the blood stem cell register by participating in or hosting their own virtual drives. Anyone can create a virtual drive: an individual, company, school, university and social or sports club. An employee that wants to set up a drive for their company, either through the HR department or social corporate responsibility team, can contact their donor recruitment team directly by emailing [email protected]
Create your virtual drive
You can set up your drive in 7 steps. Get your set-up motivation, images and videos ready, and you're good to go! There is a bank of pictures and videos on the resources library page for anyone who does not have images to help them with their drive set-up. To launch your drive, a DKMS Africa donor recruiter will contact you to finalise your information and launch your campaign.
You can view the impact of your drive, share it with anyone and see how many potential donors have registered through your link. If you need to make small changes post-launch, you can email [email protected] with your drive's URL and what you'd like to change. The resource library is also set up with materials and tips on how to create awareness about your mission on your social media.
On average, DKMS has about 21 collections of stem cell donations daily with over 100 000 second chances at life given thus far. Some of the currently running drives you can support include the Telesure Investment Holdings virtual drive to support 11 years old Caylin's fight against Aplastic Anaemia. KPMG has also joined them in the fight against blood cancer by setting up their virtual drive. DKMS has over 11 million potential stem cell donors registered worldwide.
There are other ways to help if you don’t qualify to register as a blood stem cell donor. You can provide financial support to blood cancer patients in need. It can be as easy as listing DKMS Africa as a beneficiary on your My School card. Contact them to share your stories or register on the database as a donor. The power to help save lives and give hope is in your hands.