Campaign against blood cancer: Djoko and Klaas find stem cell donors throughout Germany

IAll over Germany people went in search of treasures. The goal was not only to find a suitcase with a million euros, but also to become a potential stem cell donor. Last week, pro-Sieben moderators Joko Winterscheidt and Klaas Heufer-Umlauf called for a campaign with insurance group Cosmos Direkt to raise awareness of blood cancer and the non-profit database of German bone marrow donors (DKMS).

The goal of 10,000 new registered stem cell donors was achieved in the first 24 hours. By Tuesday evening, more than 38,000 people had registered with DKMS. A 33-year-old scaffolder from Saxony found a suitcase containing a million-dollar treasure using geo-coordinates.

People over 61 are automatically excluded

According to DKMS, every twelve minutes a person develops a blood cancer in Germany. Stem cell transplantation is often the last chance for victims. Since DKMS was founded 32 years ago, 12 million donors have registered worldwide, more than 7.6 million of them coming from Germany. “The goal remains to continue to grow because we still cannot find a suitable donor for every patient in the world,” says Emra Kilic from DKMS.

It is especially important to reach young people. When seniors reach their 61st birthday, they are automatically removed from the file and are no longer eligible to donate. “That’s why new people, especially young people, need to step up so we can provide even more second chances in life,” Kilic says.

According to the Central Register of Bone Marrow Donors, in 2022 stem cell donation was accepted from 6,835 voluntary Germans for patients at home and abroad. Stem cell transplantation is especially difficult for people with rare characteristics. “That’s why it’s good when people of all nationalities and countries of origin register. This increases the likelihood that people with rare tissue characteristics will find a suitable donor,” says Kilic.

In the future, DKMS could organize similar campaigns more often with the participation of famous personalities. “We welcome any support.”

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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