A group of dedicated volunteers have organised over 100 registration events across the West Midlands, registering over 3000 potential blood stem cell donors, aged between 17-55 years in general good health.

The volunteers play a vital role in helping the fight against blood cancer by registering potential lifesavers to the UK’s aligned stem cell registry, helping to give people with a blood cancer or blood disorders and in need of a lifesaving transplant a second chance at life.

Randeep Dhillon Singh, 34, from Willenhall  attended a donor registration drive at the Darbar Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Gurdwara, on Rolling Mill Street, in Walsall last November. He was inspired to register as a potential stem cell donor after learning of Harjeet Singh’s appeal to find his matching donor.

Randeep said, ʺI didn’t know Harjeet personally, but I was really touched by his story and felt that I needed to help. I thought of my own three children, and thought there might be a day when they need help from a stranger too so I took the first steps in registering as a potential blood stem cell donor.”

In February this year, Randeep received an important call from DKMS to say he had been identified as a match for someone and a few months later he donated his blood stem cells to a complete stranger. 

Randeep donated his blood stem cells by peripheral blood stem cell collection, which is used in around 90% of all donations. 

This method is very similar to giving blood. It involves blood being taken from one of the donor’s arms and a machine separates the blood stem cells from it. The donor’s blood is then returned to them through their other arm. This is an outpatient procedure that is usually completed in 4-6 hours. The remaining 10% of donations are made through a bone marrow collection.

It was later revealed that he was a match for a 30 year old in America. Speaking of his experience, Randeep said: ʺThe registration process was quite quick and to be identified as someone’s potential  lifesaver and to have the chance to help save their life is just such an incredible moment., I enjoyed the whole experience and would do it all over again., 

"I feel so happy that I had a chance to help give someone a second chance at life. We all have ways to help people and when we get a chance like this, we need to take the opportunity with both hands.”

Jasdeep Singh, Volunteer Hub Leader said: ʺRegistration events can be really enjoyable, especially when we hear of people like Randeep who registered at one of our events and has gone on to make such a difference. 

"It makes our work feel so rewarding and worthwhile. It takes just one person to be a match for someone with a blood cancer or blood disorder and we are honoured to be part of this journey to help find a match for everyone in need.ʺ

Shafia Begam, Senior Volunteer Manager at DKMS said: “Thank you to our wonderful volunteers who make up our Midlands hub for  all their efforts in organising events for us. They are a dynamic group who work tirelessly to support people with a blood cancer or blood disorders.

“A big thank you to those that have taken the first step to register as a potential lifesaver  at one of the events and a special thank you to our lifesaver Randeep. Don’t delay registering, sign up at one of our registration events or register for your home swab kit online at dkms.org.uk.”

Only one in three people with a blood cancer in the UK and in need of a lifesaving blood stem cell transplant will be lucky enough to find a suitable match within their own family. It’s vital that more people register to become potential lifesavers. 

If you are aged between 17 – 55 and in general good health, please take the first step to register as a blood stem cell donor by requesting your home swab kit at dkms.org.uk. 

Find out more about volunteering with DKMS click here

To register one potential blood stem cell donor it costs £40. DKMS relies on monetary donations to help cover this cost.

Whilst the NHS is very supportive, it falls to charities like us to reach out to those lifesavers - please support us in registering more potential lifesavers and donate online.