In principle, in most countries, you can contact "your" patient from the day of your stem cell donation. However, due to an anonymity period of one year, contact may only take place anonymously by letter or e-mail.
In order to guarantee compliance with the anonymity period, we at DKMS act as intermediaries for anonymous correspondence: You as the donor send the letter to us and we forward it to the patient via the responsible transplant clinic.
Please be sure to include your donor number in anonymous correspondence, as this is the only way we can allocate your letter accordingly. The letter to the patient will be proofread by a DKMS staff member. We are obliged to delete all references that endanger anonymity and ask for your understanding. This includes, for example, your name, initials, place of residence, or similar details that allow conclusions to be drawn about your person. If "your" stem cell recipient or "your" stem cell donor is being treated abroad, please write your letter in English. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Often donors are waiting for a reply to their anonymous letter, but it may not come at all. Please understand if the patient needs time because he or she may still be in intensive care or does not wish to be contacted. Just as contacting the patient is a personal, individual decision for you, it is also a personal decision for the recipient of your stem cells.
We know from experience that many patients only react to the donor's letter after some time. Often they only want to get in touch when their state of health has stabilized and they can report on progress.
Why does the anonymity period exist?
The anonymity period exists in most countries. There are important reasons for this, for example:
- During this time, the patient is in a situation that takes a lot of physical and emotional strength. It is important for him or her to concentrate on recovery.
- It's possible that the patient may need a second transplant in the first two years.