Our story began with one family fighting to save someone they loved. When Mechtild Harf was told that the only treatment for her leukemia was a bone marrow transplant, she had no matching family members. At the time, there were only 3,000 potential stem cell donors on the German registry to provide a transplant. Confronted by the knowledge that his wife faced difficult odds in finding a matching donor, her husband Peter decided to apply his prolific business skills to the question of how to give his wife and patients like her the best chance at survival. The answer seemed clear: more unrelated donors meant better chances for all patients in need.
Peter founded DKMS with his wife’s transplant physician, Gerhard Ehninger, on the 28th of May 1991 and in our first year of operations we managed to expand the registry from 3,000 donors to 68,000. Despite the Harf family’s best efforts, Mechtild ultimately did not survive. However, before she passed away she made Peter promise her that he would not stop fighting until every patient had a matching donor and a potential second chance at life. Since then Peter and his daughter Katharina Harf, the Vice Chairwoman of the DKMS Foundation Board, have kept that promise. Motivated by the fate of their wife and mother, by 1995 Katharina and Peter had helped build DKMS into the world’s largest stem cell donor register and ever since we have worked tirelessly to fulfill our mission – to provide as many blood cancer patients as possible with a second chance at life.
In the end, it’s all about one thing: saving as many lives as possible
As an international non-profit organization in the fight against blood cancer and blood disorders, DKMS focuses on raising awareness around these conditions, their treatment, and the registration of potential stem cell donors to save patients’ lives.
WHAT WE DO
We create awareness of blood cancer diseases and treatments.
- We recruit stem cell donors to give those in need of a stem cell donation a second chance at life.
- We engage the public as well as companies to organize donor registration events.
- We raise funds to increase both the size and diversity of the worldwide pool of available stem cell donors.
- We help to improve blood cancer treatment – through our own research and state-of-the-art technology in our laboratory
- We maintain our donor relationship from day one of registration until stem cell donation.
DKMS GEMEINNÜTZIGE GMBH
Dr. Elke Neujahr
Chief Executive Officer
Fax 0221 940582-3699
Dr. Dr. Alexander Schmidt
Chief Medical Officer
Fax 07071 943-111-2000
Chief Financial Officer
Fax 07071 943-111-1000