May 28, 2015 is World Blood Cancer Day -- an international day to raise awareness and inspire action in the fight against blood cancer. It’s a day of hope for the 14,000 patients seeking a bone marrow donor outside their family.
The red ampersand "&" is the symbol of World Blood Cancer Day.
Our "&" symbol means that you & all of us are in this together.
Together we are stronger.
Together we can register more lifesavers & help more patients become survivors!
Share an "&" Selfie
Raise awareness! Download the template here and share a "&" selfie with us using the hashtag #WBCD.
Who you will be helping
Anthony is not just fighting in the ring; he's fighting for his life. The 23-year-old boxer is battling lymphoma for the fourth time -- and urgently needs a bone marrow transplant to survive. Time is running out -- help him win the fight.
Give hope.Get inspired
Melissa Gonzalez began 2014 with some big news: she was a match! “It changes you in a profound way. How many people get to say that in their lifetime they helped save a life? By doing so little, you get back so much.”
Make more powerful moments happen
It was a powerful moment when young Kaleb looked into the eyes of his lifesaver, Cole for the very first time at the 2015 Delete Blood Cancer DKMS Gala. “Now I’m healthy, I feel like a normal kid,” said Kaleb.
Anthony Daniels didn't know how much strength he had until being strong was the only option.
In 2011, Anthony was attending Fordham University and playing collegiate ice hockey when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Anthony fought the cancer into remission twice over the next two years – all while continuing his studies.
In 2013, when his cancer returned for the third time, Anthony learned that his best hope for survival was a bone marrow transplant. No matching donor was found in his family or on the bone marrow registry. While searching for a match, Anthony began training as a boxer as a way to motivate himself, focusing on getting strong and competing in the ring. “It really helped me emotionally, physically and mentally,” Anthony explained.
Sometimes he headed straight to the gym from his chemotherapy treatments. "It was really hard but afterwards, I'd be tougher,” he said. “I was able to deal with the nausea.” Anthony fought his cancer in and out of the ring to help himself and inspire other patients to never give up.
I made a choice, a choice that has changed my life, I chose to be strong. Recently, Anthony learned that his lymphoma has spread. He is exploring a treatment option that will help build his immunity so that in the next 6-12 months, he will be strong enough for a transplant.
But a matching donor must be found in order for him to survive past 12 months.
Despite this setback, Anthony is more determined than ever to keep fighting. His mission is to raise awareness and to register as many new potential donors as he can to help find a match that could give him – and others patients like him – a second chance at life.
Melissa Gonzalez began 2014 with some big news: she was a match.
“I found out on New Year’s Eve -- it was an amazing way to start the year!
For me, donating bone marrow was just an easy thing to do; it was a very humbling and exciting experience. From day one, everything about the process matched up with the information I was provided. I always felt well taken care of by everyone at Delete Blood Cancer.
I was comfortable the whole time, and it was great having my mom there with me. She was surprised at how fast I was in and out of surgery. Since then I’ve been able to volunteer at drives, and people have asked me how it felt. To me it was not painful. I felt sore and tired -- like I had a tough workout. My procedure was on a Monday and I was back at work on Thursday. If this is the hardest thing I'm ever going to have to do to help save another human being, then sign me up -- I'll do it again!
I personally feel a connection with my patient. Even though I haven’t met her, there are things I can relate to. I know she is in her early 60’s. My mom is in her 60’s and I would hope that if my mom were in need, that someone would help her out. And beyond what I feel personally I have this connection now to a whole new family of people I have met at the drive where I registered, and the drives where I have volunteered.
It changes you in a very profound way. I have a great life, I have a loving and supportive family, and I have a good job. But doing this makes me feel like I have really served a purpose -- it’s an awesome feeling.
How many people get to say that in their lifetime they helped save a life? By doing so little, you get back so much.”
Kaleb was born with Beta thalassemia major, a serious blood disorder that reduces the production of hemoglobin, and eventually leads to organ failure.
When Tracy and Will adopted Kaleb, they made it their mission to get him the medical treatment he needed.
“The reality was that only hope for a cure was a bone marrow transplant,” Tracy explained. “Without a transplant, Kaleb would have died.”
On February 1, 2013, Kaleb got his transplant and now lives a healthy, active life.
His bone marrow donor, 23-year-old Cole Kennedy, was eager to help. “When I got the call that I was a match, I was gung-ho, trying to get the process sped up and happening, “ Cole said. “This is such a small thing: one surgery on one day. But when you think of how huge it is in the way it affects someone else’s life – it’s massive. I realize now how incredibly lucky I am to be able to give Kaleb a chance to grow up."
Cole’s selfless act not only gave Kaleb a second chance at life, it gave Tracy and Will the opportunity to see their very sick little boy transform into a healthy, active child.
On April 16, 2015, Kaleb and Cole met for the very first time and the 2015 Delete Blood Cancer DKMS Gala.
It was a powerful moment when Kaleb looked into the eyes of his lifesaver. As Kaleb gazed up at Cole, the gratitude and wonder in the young boy’s eyes lit up the room.
“Now I’m healthy, “ said Kaleb. “I feel like a normal kid.”