A member of staff from GMMH, Omar Al-Qaisia, is currently campaigning in support of charity DKMS to raise awareness around stem cell donation and help his wife Meriem find a life-saving match.
Two years ago, Meriem was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) an aggressive form of blood cancer. She received a stem cell transplant from her sister and went into remission. Now her cancer has returned, and Meriem needs to find another match from an unrelated donor.
As Meriem is part of a North African ethnic minority, her chance of finding a stem cell donor is only 37% - compared to a 72% chance of finding a match for patients who are white Caucasian.
They recruit blood stem cell donors, provide second chances at life for those in need of a transplant, and raise funds to cover donor registration costs. You can register as a donor if you are between 16 and 55 years of age.
DKMS launched in the UK in 2013 and they are the biggest stem cell register in the UK. They have registered over 900,000 blood stem cell donors to date and helped to give over 1,700 people a second chance at life.
Over 2,000 people each year in the UK are in need of a blood stem cell transplant, however, just 3% of the UK’s population are registered as potential donors. Only a tiny proportion of these potential donors are from minority ethnic communities.
The more people who register as blood stem cell donors, the better the chance for someone in need of a blood stem cell transplant.
To date, worldwide, DKMS has registered over 11 million potential blood stem cell donors, and over 100,000 second chances at life have been provided by DKMS.
Read Meriem’s story, find out how you can register to become a donor and raise awareness: Match4Meriem | DKMS