Blood Cancer Survivors & Patient Stories

Every one of our patients and donors has an incredible story to share. Stories of courage and challenge that get at the human heart of what donating blood stem cells or marrow really means for a patient, for their family and for the communities that support them. Here is where you’ll find stories about our patients and donors as well as news on our efforts to connect them with lifesaving results.

Our Stories

Cancer in the Time of COVID

For many people 2020 has been a year of adjustment. But for Heather Hinton, COVID has created more complications as she waits for a bone marrow donor.

December 16

The call that changed my life forever!

As the vice president of a club on campus called Camp Courage Crew, I understand first hand how important it is for cancer patients to find a matching donor. My club’s mission is to help raise funds for nonprofits that support children who have been affected by cancer. While not all bone marrow transplant recipients have cancer, some do, and the thought of being part of this fight against cancer is very inspiring for me. I knew that whatever chance I have to help someone who needs it I would take it , so when I was called I knew that the opportunity was something I had to take advantage of.

July 30

Camp Kesem Launches National Virtual Donor Drive

Camp Kesem and DKMS were not going to let the COVID-19 crisis stand in the way of helping patients searching for matching stem cell and bone marrow donors. With 80 in-person donor drives canceled on college campuses across the country, both organizations were determined to continue to register potential lifesavers through DKMS’ online virtual donor drive platform in a national campaign launching this week.

May 22

7 Things I’ve Found More Uncomfortable Than Donating Blood Stem Cells

I first heard about blood stem cell donation in 2018 when a friend of mine had a family member who was diagnosed with blood cancer. At the time, there wasn’t a match on the national bone marrow donor pool, so the family started doing swab drives. They were desperately trying to find a match and I happily went signed up. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a match for my friend’s family member but just before Christmas 2019, I got a call telling me I was a match for someone else and I was absolutely thrilled.

May 12

Kristin Lamelas Story

Resting on the flat pillows, staring at the monochromatic walls, Kristin Lamelas couldn’t help but fear that the second chance at life she planned to celebrate with her family was slowly slipping out of her grasp. The worst part; there was nothing she could do about it. She had braved the diagnosis of blood cancer, had rallied to register potential lifesavers for patients who are in a similar position as her, and rejoiced at the news that she had found a matching donor on the international bone marrow donor registry...

April 15

COVID-19 outbreak didn't stop this lifesaver

It was late December 2019 and Will was packing his belongings and preparing for the trip from NYC to Texas to visit his parents for Christmas. In addition to the usual excitement around the holidays, Will was particularly looking forward to this Christmas, as it would be his first since getting engaged to his fiancé earlier that year.

April 15


Share your story

Share your bone marrow transplant story

Your Story

If you are a patient, a family member or a donor who would like to share your bone marrow transplant or donation story, we’d love to hear it and share it. It’s stories like yours that inspire so many to register as bone marrow donors.

Other Ways to Help

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

Register today to take the first step toward giving someone a second chance at life.

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

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