Our journey began in Germany in 1991 when our founder, Dr Peter Harf, formed DKMS in honour of his wife, Mechtild. Sadly, Mechtild had lost her battle with blood cancer following the family’s unsuccessful search to find a potentially lifesaving matching blood stem cell donor. At that time, there were only 3,000 potential blood stem cell donors available to provide a transplant in Germany. Peter had a vision to change this and create a future where every blood cancer patient has a second chance of life.
Within one year of the founding of DKMS, the number of registered potential blood stem cell donors had increased nearly 23 times, to 68,000 people. This gave even more inspiration to Peter and reinforced his motivation to ‘delete blood cancer’.
Fast forward 25 years and today DKMS is an international non-profit organisation with offices in the UK (opened 2013), Germany, Poland (2009), Spain (2011) and the United States (2004).
We have more than 7.5 million potential donors registered within the DKMS family and have given more than 64,000 second chances of life to people diagnosed with blood cancer. Our worldwide search for new donors continues though as many people are still not able to find the matching donor they need.