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Taking The First Step to Giving Someone a Second Life

Signing up to a Stem Cell/Bone Marrow Register.

Signing up to a Stem Cell/Bone Marrow Register

There are many stem cell registers all over the world. Please see this link for access to all stem cell registries around the world so you can find your closest registry.

I have personally worked with Anthony Nolan and DKMS in the UK and Datri in India. Here are links to their pages of how to sign up.


(Need to be 16-30 years old)


(Need to be 18-55 years old)


Registering to a stem cell registry is extremely easy and only takes a few moments.

  • Fill in the online form.

  • A cheek swab kit will get sent to you.

  • Send the Kit back.

Steps explained in detail below:

  • Filling out a form with basic details such as age, sex, health status etc...Please note declaring a true health status is very important as people who have pre-existing conditions cannot be donors. As if there are any preexisting conditions they will be passed on to whoever receives your stem cells/bone marrow.

  • Taking a saliva swab from your mouth (they can send you their swab kit via post or you can do it at their center) or taking a very small amount of blood. Most of the time it is done by swabbing however in Hong Kong (where I registered) they took a small blood sample.

  • HLA typing which is done at a lab: Your swab or blood is analyzed for your tissue type and then your details are added on the stem cell registry in an anonymised form. Your details will then be part of blood stem cell donor searches for people all over the world who need a genetic match to get a second chance at life

  • You remain on the registry till age 60 on average (every stem cell registry varies but the general rule is if you are over 55 years old then ideally you will not be used as a donor unless in an emergency situation).

You have the right to take yourself off the registry at any time and also have the right to decline if you are called on to donate. However if possible this should be avoided as when someone is told they have a match and have a chance at going through with a stem cell transplant they believe they have a second chance at life. Some people go a year or longer without finding a donor which is a very difficult journey.

Then you just wait to be called on to give someone the gift of life.

Side Note: All blood cancer and blood disorder registries run as charities therefore there is no cost to you when signing up or donating at all. Please note the average cost of signing someone up to a Stem cell/Bone Marrow registry is £40. Therefore any donation you can give would be very much appreciated.

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