As humans, we naturally act from our hearts after hearing an awe-inspiring story. The DKMS Patient Engagement team works directly with patients, their families, and their communities to share to educate and encourage others to register as potential donors: the first step in providing a second chance at life for our patients. Each story and journey is unique, we take great pride in providing holistic personalized service for each patient for their care-takers.
It is an honor to witness and contribute to the growth of support from the patient’s community and sharing the ultimate reward from these efforts: an opportunity for patients around the world to celebrate more birthdays, anniversaries and life experiences. We look forward to supporting you and your loved ones to raise awareness, register new potential life-saving donors and provide more hope to the 15,000 patients in need of a transplant.
In 2009 I volunteered to put together a donor drive for a dear friend. Thankfully, my friend found a matching donor and is doing well. One year later, my sister-in-law was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma and needed a transplant. My husband and I called the DKMS rep who helped with the drive for our friend to answer questions which led to my position on the DKMS Donor Recruitment team in 2011. I love combining my passion for raising awareness with my people skills to work with patients to find matching donors.
Prior to my role with DKMS, I was a manager for Crate&Barrel and then a stay-at-home mom to my two sons. From the time the boys were very young, we taught them the importance of sharing our gifts and filling our hearts by helping others. What I have learned is that being a stem cell or bone marrow donor provides as much good for donors’ hearts as it does for the health of the recipients. Being able to educate and share this opportunity with others is a true gift.
Having had the opportunity to be a stem cell donor for a woman diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia back in 2018, the DKMS mission holds a very special place in my heart. First hand experiencing the life-saving impact that donors have on patients around the world is the reason why I work for DKMS today. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to share my donor experience with patients as a source of hope and with community members as a source of encouragement to also register and potentially save someone’s life.
I joined DKMS with an undergraduate degree in education in public health, psychology, and business along with a masters degree in healthcare administration. Ensuring equitable access to healthcare for every community, especially the underrepresented, has always been my professional pursuit. My academic and professional experiences allow me to ensure the highest quality care for our patients and their loved ones.
Individualized Patient Services
DKMS was founded in 1991 after one family’s struggle to find a lifesaving bone marrow donor – growing from 3,000 donors to 68,000 in just the first year. Since then, the DKMS team has been dedicated to facilitating as many second chances at life as possible in order to give families more time with their loved ones. We provide individualized service and care to every single patient – sharing resources and tools, our U.S. based and international connections, and best practices for reaching and inspiring the largest number of people possible.
We are proud to be the only donor center that does not require people to pay to register. We NEVER want money to play a role in someone’s willingness to host a donor drive or ability to register as a potential donor. There is NO cost to host a donor drive or to register as a potential donor with DKMS – our focus is to resolve financial barriers to allow for better access to healthcare.
As the only international donor center, we share stories across SEVEN countries where DKMS is present to create a global community of support. We collaborate very closely with our team members in Germany, the UK, Chile, Poland, India and South Africa – always looking for ways to learn and grow from each of our unique perspectives.
Free Family Typing Program
Because we understand the high financial burden of a cancer diagnosis and the complexities of the insurance system, we created a free family typing program to cover the costs of testing first degree relatives (siblings, children and parents) for patients whose insurance plans do not cover this expense. The program is initiated with a request from the patient’s medical team and results are returned within 7-10 business days to the patient’s medical team.
Education and Awareness
We recognize that one of the biggest hurdles to finding a matching donor is a lack of education and/or misinformation. By combining over three decades of experience in recruiting donors with our educational, professional and personal experiences, we educate communities around the United States and provide the tools needed to raise awareness and register new donors (between the ages of 18-55) to the registry at no cost.
After a shocking diagnosis of blood cancer or a blood disorder, many patients first reach out to community members who have had a similar diagnosis. The DKMS Patient Engagement Team has created an Ambassador Program to work closely with past patients, caregivers and donors who share their stories to inspire others, answer questions for newly diagnosed patients and provide DKMS resources to support a journey to health and well-being. Launching mid-2021.
Make It Count
We have a tight-knit group of past patients and caregivers who share helpful hints, ask questions and support one another through our closed Facebook group, Make It Count.
Going through the journey of a life-threatening blood cancer or blood disorder with a child is difficult. Navigating these medical challenges changes perspective, relationships with friends and family members and presents obstacles never imagined. We have created small groups of Mom-Popcologists to share their paths with those who can relate in order to build a community to help other families facing the same struggles. Launching mid-2021.