#Swabtember is an initiative started by DKMS to highlight the various awareness months observed in themes during the month of September:
- Childhood Cancer
- Blood Cancer Awareness
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Hispanic Heritage Awareness Month
- World Marrow Donor Day
Why do we call it #Swabtember? Because the key to joining the bone marrow registry to potentially save someone’s life is swabbing your cheeks.
Blood Cancer Awareness:
Blood cancer is an umbrella term for malignancies of the blood, bone marrow or lymph nodes that affect normal blood cell production or function. As these diseased blood cells proliferate, they cause life-threatening damage to the immune and circulatory systems. Leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma are the most common blood cancers.
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited disease of hemoglobin, a molecule that carries oxygen within red blood cells. Patients with sickle cell disease have red blood cells containing abnormal hemoglobin, which causes the cells to become stiff and form a sickle or crescent shape.
In the U.S., over 15,000 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer every year; approximately a quarter of them will not survive the disease. A diagnosis turns the lives of the entire family upside down.
World Marrow Donor Day:
World Marrow Donor Day (WMDD) is celebrated worldwide on the third Saturday of September. This year, WMDD will be held on Saturday, September 21. DKMS has pledged its support for WMDD and we will celebrate by joining the movement to say “Thank you, Donor” to the DKMS donors around the world.
GRACIE & BINH:
The odds were not in Gracie's favor when she was diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Syndrome - a rare and potentially fatal blood disorder. In order for her to have a healthy shot at life, Gracie had to turn to the bone marrow registry Gracie has Chinese ancestry making it harder for to find a match on the bone marrow registry.
ZELAYA & PIERRE :
Zelaya has been battling leukemia since the age of two. Unfortunately, no matter what the treatment plan, nothing seemed to be working and Zelaya was not getting any better. Halfway around the world, Pierre swabbed to be a bone marrow donor and was a match for Zelaya. Thanks to Pierre’s donation, Zelaya beat cancer and is doing really well.
MARCUS & MATENE:
Marcus had dreams of becoming a baseball player for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Those dreams were suddenly put on hold when just days before his 21st birthday, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia. In order to beat leukemia, Marcus needed a bone marrow donation. Thanks to the selfless donation of Matene, Marcus won his fight against cancer.
WHY WE FIGHT
Every three minutes someone in the US is diagnosed with blood cancer. We fight for our patients in need.
John is a first-generation American, born and raised in Queens, New York by Argentine parents. He registered as a bone marrow donor in 2006 and got called as a match six years later. Being of Hispanic/Latinx background, John increased the odds for a patient who had a similar ethnic background as him.
Fourteen-year-old Daniel is an outgoing athlete, an honorary boy Scout, and an artist. His extracurricular activities came to a halt this past winter. Daniel struggled to recover from what his mom initially thought was the flu. Several tests indicated that Daniel has acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) – a type of leukemia most common in children.
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Lifesaving starts here!
Registering for the chance to save a life is exciting, but before you begin, please be sure you haven’t registered before with another donor center. Also, we ask that all registered donors be willing to donate to any patient. Lastly, please scroll down to review the two ways to donate.
Let's get started!See if you are eligible
As a registered bone marrow donor, you will be on standby to save a life.
I currently reside in the United States.
I am a member of the military.
Please enter your date of birth.
Please enter your details
You are eligible!
Next step... Complete the registration process.
Thank you for caring.
Members of the military can register with The C.W. Bill Young Department of Defense Marrow Donor Program.
Are you in overall good health?
We want to make sure that helping a patient won’t impact your health. Please review the following list of criteria. If you are not sure about a requirement, feel free to call us at 866.340.3567.
YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO REGISTER IF YOU ARE:
- Between the ages of 18 and 55
- In good general health
- At least 4’10” and weigh more than 105 pounds, but not exceed a maximum BMI of 40.
YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE TO REGISTER IF YOU HAVE:
- History of heart surgery or heart disease
- Autoimmune disorders such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis or fibromyalgia
- Sleep apnea, breathing problems or severe asthma (daily inhalers are acceptable)
- Diabetes requiring insulin or injectable medication
- Hepatitis B or C
- Kidney or liver disease
- History of stroke, including TIA
- Chronic or severe neck, spine or back problems
- Epilepsy or other seizure within one year
- History of blood clotting or bleeding disorders
- History of head injury or multiple concussions
- Personal history of cancer (exceptions: Stage 0 or in situ melanoma, breast, bladder, cervical and cured localized skin cancer such as basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma)
If you have questions about whether your medical history would prevent you from donating, please contact email@example.com or 212.209.6700.