From Cheek Swab to Lifesaver List. How it Works. What it Means.

What happens when you send your swabs back to DKMS?

• Our lab analyzes your tissue type: Your cheek cells are tested for HLA tissue markers.

• HLA = Human Leukocyte Antigens, or characteristics of human white blood cells. These protein ‘markers’ are found on most cells in your body.

• There is a great diversity of HLA and the cheek swab is currently tested for up to 12 characteristics.

• Your immune system uses HLA markers to determine which cells belong in your body and which do not.

• The best transplant outcomes occur when the patient’ s and donor’s HLA closely match.

• Once HLA markers are identified, your tissue type is entered anonymously into the US national bone marrow donor registry – “the lifesaver list” -- and assigned a donor number. The database is linked to global registries, searchable for any patient around the world.

What it means to be on the registry:

• Once you're on the registry, you are on standby to save a life. That's awesome! Be ready to donate, and willing to donate to any patient in need.

Will you become a match for a patient?

You could be called as a potential match within weeks of registering. Or, perhaps it will take years. There is a chance that you may never be called, but if you do get called, there is a good chance you are the ONLY one who can save that patient’s life.

On average, less than 1% of people on the registry will actually donate to a patient.

More about HLA

• You inherit half of your HLA markers from your mother and half from your father. This means you and your sibling have a 25% chance of having exactly the same HLA characteristics.

• This also means that most patients – about 7 out of 10 -- are unable to have a donation from a sibling, and an unrelated donor is required. This donor should ideally be a perfect HLA match.

• The more people who register, the better the chances for patients who are waiting for their lifesaving match.

This is why YOUR registration matters so much!

Register

Other Ways to Help

There are many ways to support our fight against blood cancer.

100% of every gift you make helps us recruit more potential lifesavers.

We need more lifesavers. Host a drive to help us register more potential bone marrow donors.

Learn more about blood cancers and how you can make a lifesaving difference.

Katharina Harf, Co-Founder of Delete Blood Cancer
We Can Delete Blood Cancer
@dean.scot is a hero x 2️⃣ !
Way 👏 to 👏 go 👏@rangerkevin76 💪
.
 Just because the #UnitedNYCHalf was canceled, it wasn't going to keep #bonemarrowdonor Kevin from running for #TeamDKMS. Thank you for inspiring us and others! .
At DKMS, we celebrate the achievement of women every day! ❤️ Thank you to our Global Ambassador Katharina Harf, Global CEO Elke Neujahr,  and DKMS US COO Agata Maraszek-Dudek, and all the women of #DKMS around the 🌎 who are helping to save lives. #EachforEqual #IWD2020
Saving a life was so nice, Natali did it twice. ❤️ .
Happy 10th birthday to Bennett! 🎉 🎂 🎁 .
In the fall of 2018 he had a #bonemarrowtransplant to help him beat acute lymphoblastic leukemia and now he’s back to laxing with @3ddallastx and getting in some wall-ball on the weekend. We ❤️it! .
#dallastexas #lacrosse #lacrosseseason #lacrossetraining #beatcancer #DKMS
The #LYMcrew at @osulymcrew are kicking it up a notch. Check out our newest swabbers from @theohiostateuniversity. 
#LYM #DKMS #deletebloodcancer #bonemarrowdonor #loveyourmelon
The future nurses 👩‍⚕️👨‍⚕️ of tomorrow are on it!

The @ttuhscson hosted a special donor drive to get more people on the national bone marrow donor pool. 
#uReact #Deletebloodcancer #DKMS #nursing #futureleaders #nurses #bonemarrowdonor #donordrive