Reading FC have again teamed up with blood cancer charity DKMS in a bid to register fans as potential lifesavers.
On 14th April 2018 a match-day donor registration event will be held in the Fanzone at Madejski Stadium, with both Reading and Sunderland Football Clubs supporting the campaign to find Chloe and others a lifesaving donor.
Chloe, 7, from Sunderland, was born with a rare blood disorder called Diamond Blackfan Anaemia. This means her body doesn't produce red blood cells and she needs regular blood transfusions to stay alive.
Chloe has recently developed antibodies in her blood and now urgently needs a blood stem cell donation, but a matching donor has not yet been found.
Chloe, from Sunderland, is in desperate need of a lifesaving donor
Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer, such as leukaemia. Every year, over 12,000 people die from blood cancers in the UK – making it the third most common cause of cancer death in the UK.
Supporters attending the home game at the Madejski Stadium have the opportunity to register as blood stem cell donors and potentially save the life of someone with a blood cancer or blood disorder, like Chloe.
The global not-for-profit organisation started in Germany in 1991 and this year marks its fifth year in the UK. During this period over 350,000 potential lifesavers have registered in the UK.
However, only a fraction of the Reading population have taken the first steps to register with the charity (2,452) and just under three quarters of that figure (1,785) have returned their swab kit, which is required to be officially added to the UK Aligned Stem Cell Registry.
Reading FC’s Head of Marketing, Dara Thomas, said: “Following the success of our donor registration event last year at the Madejski Stadium, Reading FC is delighted to stand united with DKMS and Sunderland AFC as we support the #aheroforchloe campaign.
"In our players and our fans we have many heroes at the club, so we urge eligible people to register with DKMS at our match-day event on 14th April. It could be one of the most important things you’ll ever do because you could potentially help save a life.”
A blood stem cell donation is often the only chance of survival for many blood cancer and blood disorder patients. Sadly, many patients will not find a matching donor. This isn’t because a match doesn’t exist, it’s simply because there aren’t enough people registered as donors. That is why DKMS works to increase the size and diversity of the blood stem cell registry.
The Royals were involved with helping spread the word of DKMS and their good work last year
Anyone in the UK aged between 17 and 55 and in good general health can register with DKMS. To register, the charity asks potential blood stem cell donors to give consent and a three minute swab sample from the inside of their cheek. This is done at one of their donor recruitment events or via requesting a kit from their website.
The swab is analysed to establish tissue characteristics, with information added anonymously to the UK Stem Cell Registry. If the tissue type is matched to a patient now or in the future, around 90% of blood stem cell donations in the UK are collected via the blood stream. Around 10% of blood stem cell donations in the UK are made via a donation of bone marrow collected from the back of the pelvic bone.
It costs DKMS £40 to register a new potential blood stem cell donor. As a charity, DKMS relies on contributions from the public to help cover these costs. Anyone wishing to help DKMS reach and register more potential life savers can donate at www.dkms.org.uk.