“Typing” for the German Bone Marrow Donor Centre

On 23rd January 2014 the first ever “blood typing event” of BUTTING staff for the German Bone Marrow Donor Centre (DKMS) took place. Hermann Butting himself had already registered as a stem cell donor with the DKMS (German Bone Marrow Donor Centre) and wished to sensitise his staff on the subject of blood cancer. The campaign ran between 12 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the BUTTING canteen and was a success: An almost unbelievable figure of 180 staff volunteered “to undergo blood typing”, in the hope of soon being discovered to be a “genetic twin” of a blood cancer patient and of becoming a stem cell donor.

Finding a stem cell donor or a “genetic twin” is not so easy. On average, one person in Germany gets blood cancer every 16 minutes. One victim in five does not find a suitable donor. If the patient has an unusual combination of tissue types, there may possibly not be a single person in several million who would be able to help. Only a third of blood cancer patients find a suitable donor within their own family. That is why it is incredibly important to have a large file of potential donors – that is the only way to give as many blood cancer patients as possible the chance to recover. Set up in 1991 as a private initiative, the DKMS today has approximately 3.9 million registered stem cell donors. Since the DKMS was founded, more than 30 000 blood cancer patients have been given the chance of a healthy life.  

“I think it’s great that BUTTING supports the DKMS and that we have got the chance here to help in the struggle against blood cancer as quickly and simply as possible”, says Jan Wiezowiecki from BUTTING. 

Since 1994, no government cash has been available to expand the Centre, and so the DKMS depends on private financial assistance to gain new donors. The cost of the blood typing campaign, EUR 50 per donor, was paid by BUTTING, which in this way showed its active support for the expansion of the German Bone Marrow Donor Centre. 

BUTTING – Progress by Tradition