28th May is super important.. It’s World Blood Cancer Day. 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.
As always, I’d love you to grab a cuppa and find a comfy spot to read more about why it’s important, how you can get involved and much more.. 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 Sunday 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. 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.
World Blood Cancer Day is Sunday 28th May
“We celebrate life every day”DKMS Motto
How else can I help?
Make It Red
This year DKMS have launched the #makeitred theme. If you decide to make a red cake, turn your social media red, don a red jumper, put on red shoes or apply red lipstick. It’s totally fine by us. whatever you choose, let’s make it red!
Blood Cancer Patients needs our help more than ever after the pandemic. 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 #MakeItRed.
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 making it red to support DKMS.
“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 get involved in my Mission 50!
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 they need our help. As DKMS say ” you provide the hope and they will cover the rest!”
You may remember I’ve been taking on some Missions throughout 2022 and beyond. My fundraising page is still open should you wish to donate there or see which Missions I’ve completed and which ones I have left to do.
There are many ways you can support and raise valuable funds – including using give as you shop, via easy fundraising. which means you can raise FREE donations for Mission 50 and DKMS, every time you shop online. Over 4,000 shops and sites will donate to this page when you use easyfundraising to shop with them – at no extra cost to yourself!
These donations really mount up and make a BIG difference to me and the Charity, so we’d really appreciate it if you could take a moment to sign up and support @DKMS_UK and I. It’s completely FREE and only takes a moment.
Simply click this link and Easyfundraising will do the rest! They’ll turn a percentage of your spend into free funds for DKMS! Simply sign up and start shopping. It’s that simple – I love it!
“The aftermath of 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
Join me in the 5km virtual run, jog or walk. This is our second year hosting the event and I’d love you to take part.
Register here and join me virtually or in person on Thursday 6th July, where we will be running, jogging or walking 5km for DKMS. All finishers receive a medal and a tee shirt. (There is an option to opt out of receiving the finishers gifts)We would LOVE you to take part and share your sweaty selfies with us Register here
Buy a Perfect Touch Collection, a stunning collection of products to treat your hands. For every collection sold, £5 is donated to Mission 50 for DKMS. Find out more
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to read this blog. 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 keep updated on my Mission 50 here or on my Instagram page
On behalf of DKMS, thank you so much.
Sending love as always