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
It's hard to believe that at 12 years old, Damary is battling leukemia for the second time. His fighting shot at life lies within a selfless stranger who will be a #bonemarrow donor. It could be you. ❤️ Despite everything, he remains positive and focuses on his love of @cpfc during treatment. ❤️
Your likes and positive comments can help give him hope. ❤️
#Donate4Damary #DKMS #deletebloodcancer #fight #cancer #childhoodcancerawareness #leukemia #defeatcancer #crystalpalace #DonateForDamary #Match4Damary
There is a lot of ❤️ from our DKMS family in #Texas. Over 106,000 of our registered donors are from The Friendship State. So many lifesavers helping people all over the world! .
We’re excited to be participating in the 10th annual #ntxgivingday this year, to help our reach expand even more. See you on September 20th!
Did you #GetSwabbed this month? Much ❤️ to our new potential lifesavers.

#Swabselfie #DKMS #cheeky #bonemarrowdonor #DoGood #DoGoodBeGood #ShowUsYourCheeks
No objections here! Paul Feinman is a New York State Court of Appeals Judge who has been waiting three years to meet the #bonemarrowdonor that saved his life. Amy Moritz came all the way from Germany with her family to meet Paul and his husband and spend some time getting to see the second chance at life she gave to a complete stranger. ..
#DKMS #bonemarrowdonor #cancersurvivor #leukemia #leukemiasurvivor #emotionalmeeting #dogood #savelives
What a weekend!  Hoboken we ❤️ you! Thanks to the in-kind donations from @target and our awesome volunteers, we raised over $1,000 from our Lemonade stand takeover. The proceeds from the five lemonade stands will go towards registering more potential bone marrow donors. 
#deletebloodcancer #Lemonade #Lemonadestand #Hoboken #wedeletebloodcancer #DKMS
His energy is our #mondaymotivation.  Thank you Cole for showing your support on our Hoboken lemoande stand take over. 📸 @mellie4justice

#dkms #wedeletebloodcancer #DeleteBloodCancer #lemonade #lemonadestand
Thank you @kcuahd for showing us your #SwabSelfie boomerang and believing in our mission to save lives. 
#Deletebloodcancer #dkms #GetSwabbed #wedeletebloodcancer #dogoodbegood