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!


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
#Djforacure founder and cancer survivor @quianaparks!  #deletebloodcancer #getswabbed
@djmoma is taking his turn @ #DJforacure.
@vashtie spinning @djforacure. (Photo by @yogagirlnyc108)
Getting @boydfam swabbed @djforacure.
Looking forward to tonight's @djforacure event with @quianaparks, @saada_, @vashtie, @therealdjwavy, @djmoma, and more! Proceeds go to helping #DKMS #deletebloodcancer.
Anya is a nine-year-old New Jersey native. Anya is just like any other fourth grade girl. She likes watching movies on Netflix, playing Minecraft, and doing arts and crafts.
But unlike other fourth grade girls, Anya is battling leukemia. She was first diagnosed in kindergarten and went into remission in third grade. During this school year, Anya learned that her leukemia had returned. The doctors believe her best chance for a full recovery is a bone marrow transplant. Despite her own battle, Anya has found a way to give back to other girls with cancer. During her second week at the hospital, Anya donated her hair to help other kids with cancer.
Be the hope that Anya needs, register to become her lifesaving bone marrow donor at
Cory is a 40-year-old Arkansas native. He works as utility buyer and is a Deacon at St. Mark Baptist Church. 
Two months ago, Cory learned that he had aplastic anemia. Doctors quickly decided that he would need a bone marrow transplant to have a shot at full recovery. Cory’s brother was tested and sadly was not a match. Now they are turning to the national registry and their community for help.

Cory’s church recently hosted a drive in his honor to add more people to the registry. “Some people may not understand why this has happened to me, but I understand that this is my mission. I know that I have been put here by God for this purpose. There is no reason that many people can't find a matching donor, we can do something to change that,” says Cory. 
Join in Cory's fight against aplastic anemia, sign up at

#DeleteBloodCancer #dkms  #bonemarrowtransplant #GetSwabbed #aplasticanemia
Here's to better and brighter days! #MondayMotivation #motivationalquotes #motivationalmonday #goodquote #deletebloodcancer #dkms #internationalhappinessday #happyspring