In a little break from my blog mini series on the Bringing You Best of the South West, I’m sharing with you why 𝐅𝐫𝐢𝐝𝐚𝐲 28𝐭𝐡 𝐌𝐚𝐲 is super important..
It’s World Blood Cancer Day and as a former Oncology Nursing Sister and proud Ambassador for DKMS, the Blood Cancer Charity, this weeks Blog is totally focused on sharing with you MORE about this very special day, why it’s important, how you can get involved and much more..
As always, I’d love you to grab a cuppa and find a comfy spot. Here we go..
Every 27 seconds, someone somewhere in the world is diagnosed with blood cancer.DKMS
Shocking isn’t it?
So in the time it’s taken you to start reading this blog, someone has just received simply devastating news that they have Blood Cancer. It creates a huge ripple, affecting not just themselves, but their family, friends, collagues and so on..
On this day, every day and especially on World Blood Cancer Day on Friday 28th May, I’m asking for your help: to help me spread awareness and support for DKMS and the incredible work they do – Every. Single. Day.
“A blood cancer diagnosis is a shock and often marks the start of a race against time. For many patients, their only chance of survival is to find a matching blood stem cell donor, as fast as possible.”DKMS
What do you need to know?
The term “blood cancer” is a general description of various hematopoietic cancers; such as
Leukaemia; a type of blood cancer that affects blood cells in your bone marrow.
Lymphomas: constitute a large and diverse group of neoplasms originating from the lymphoid system. Depending on which cells in the lymphatic system the cancer originates from, it can cause different symptoms and affect different organs. Among lymphomas there are non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and Hodgkin lymphoma (HL).
Multiple myeloma: Plasma cell myeloma, also known as multiple myeloma, is a cancer of the bone marrow.
This must watch two minute video from DKMS explains what blood cancer is and how the blood cancer develops:
What is DKMS?
DKMS is an international nonprofit organisation dedicated to the fight against blood cancer and blood disorders. They are constantly working to convince as many people as possible to join the blood stem cell register. The best way to share with you just how important DKMS is by showing you this 3 minute video –
“My big dream is that every patient will be saved from blood cancer and other blood disorders.
When they get sick, we have a solution for them; whether it’s a donor, improving therapies through research, or simply helping to provide access to transplantation.
In this approach, we see no borders, believing that everyone, everywhere, deserves a second chance at life. We will keep fighting for them and keep spreading the word, recruiting donors, raising money.
Whatever it takes to make this dream a reality.”Katharina Harf, daughter of the founder of DKMS and Vice Chairwoman of the DKMS Foundation Board
How you can help…
There are so many ways you can help make your mark against Blood Cancer and 𝐈 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐨 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐩 𝐦𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐚 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞.. You could help me to raise awareness, join the register, or take on a fundraising challenge. Anything you can do to help really does make a difference – even simply sharing this blog….
So, let’s go into a little more detail:
Sign up as a potential blood stem donor with @dkms_uk by requesting a swab kit and sending it back. Please tell your friends and family to do the same!
Order a swab kit online: Answer a few simple questions about yourself to make sure you’ll be able to safely donate if needed. If it’s a yes, then you’ll be directed to a page where you can request your swab kit online.
Swab your cheeks and return your kit: Swab the inside of your cheeks and send the swabs back to DKMS (there are instructions on the pack that you’ll be sent).
The swabs will then be analysed in the lab to determine your HLA (tissue) characteristics – this is how donors and patients are matched.
You’ll be added to the register: Once your samples have been analysed, you’ll be added to the register and you will be available for patients all around the world who are searching for a donor. Isn’t that amazing!
You are a match: If you come up as a potential match for someone, the donation process can begin. The DKMS team will be in touch as soon as possible.
They will ask you for a blood sample to confirm that you are the best possible match for the person in need of a transplant.
Peripheral blood stem cell donation: In 90% of cases, stem cells are collected peripherally (apheresis). This involves taking stem cells directly from the bloodstream. You’ll be able to have this done as an outpatient and it does not require surgery.
Bone marrow donation: In 10% of cases, the stem cells are collected from the back of your pelvic bone. This is carried out under general anaesthetic.
The patient receives your blood stem cells: The collected blood stem cells are transplanted to the patient, in a procedure similar to a blood transfusion.
A second chance at life: Your job is done and your incredible donation will help to give someone a second chance at life.
“We celebrate life every day”DKMS Motto
How else can I help?
This year DKMS are bringing back their popular Wear It Red theme. Whether you decide to don a red jumper, put on red shoes or apply red lipstick, it’s totally fine by us. The redder the better!
The pandemic means blood cancer patients need our help more than ever, and we are in urgent need of new potential lifesavers to sign up, so why not consider sharing a selfie wearing something red using the hashtag #WearItRed.
Then nominate a family member or friend to do the same and make sure they order a home swab kit.
You’ll be in good company, because you’ll be joined by some of our amazing celebrity supporters, as well as some much appreciated political support from MP’s, who will all be wearing it red to support DKMS.
Wine & Cheese with DKMS will mark World Blood Cancer Day by celebrating the perfect match of wine and cheese, and the life-saving matches of donors and transplant recipients, joined by much loved wine expert, and Saturday Kitchen regular, Olly Smith!
Olly will be sharing his world renowned expertise to help us find the perfect wines to match with a variety of cheeses. He’ll be answering some of your questions, so don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity – put the date in your diary now!
The event will be free to join through YouTube and Facebook, so everyone is welcome. DKMS are asking that you help us turn Olly’s perfect matches into lifesaving matches by making a donation to DKMS while enjoying your evening. For more information, and to register your interest, click here.
“4 out of 10 people looking for an unrelated matching donor worldwide are not able to find a match. But you can help us change this.”DKMS
Make a donation or organise an event of your own
It costs DKMS £40 to register just one potential blood stem cell donor. Not everyone who signs up is able to contribute towards this cost, so thery need our help. As DKMS say ” you provide the hope and they will cover the rest!”
You may remember I hosted a Virtual Acts of Kindness Raffle for DKMS with some fabulous brands last November. The fundraising page is still open should you wish to donate there.
There are many ways you can support and raise valauble funds – including using Give as you Live
When you shop at over 4,000 top stores including John Lewis & Partners, Expedia and Marks & Spencer via Give as you Live Online, they’ll turn a percentage of your spend into free funds for DKMS! Simply sign up, search for the retailer and start shopping. It’s that simple – I love it!
“The pandemic means blood cancer patients need our help more than ever, and we are in urgent need of new potential lifesavers to sign up to join our register.”DKMS
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to read, this blog. As you can probably tell, I’m passionate about doing what I can to help DKMS do what they can in their Mission. I’m a firm believer that, we can all do a little something to support others – TODAY I’ve love you to show your support for DKMS.
I’d be so grateful if you can please share this post – we need to get the important information to as many people as possible and YOU can help that.. Click the little arrow and share away.
Be sure to check in on my instagram later today for a very special Mission for this week.
On behalf of DKMS, thank you so much.
Sending love as always