More than 8,300 people have registered as a stem cell donor after the appeal of PSV press secretary Thijs Slegers. The Matchis Foundation will already have more than 11,000 new registrations in 2023, never before have so many people registered at the beginning of the year, says the foundation.
Slegers suffers from blood cancer and announced two weeks ago that he had been treated. He called on the public to register as a stem cell donor.
And thousands of people responded, according to the latest figures from the Matchis Foundation, which manages the donor bank. Most new registrations are men, namely 70 percent. That is good news for the foundation, because there is a shortage of male stem cell donors. In the total Dutch stem cell donor database, 70 percent are women.
Matchis will start an advertising campaign next week that responds to the recent attention. The foundation wants to keep the attention, but also draw people’s attention to actually returning the cotton swabs. “You are only definitively registered as a donor when you return your set of cotton swabs,” says campaign manager Bert Elbertse. With the cotton swabs, people have to take some mucus and send it so that it can be investigated whether someone is suitable as a donor.
Stem cell donation
Worldwide there are about forty million donors, in the Netherlands there are about 395,000 people. Every year, around 600 Dutch patients, mostly with leukaemia, need a stem cell donation. 30 percent find a donor in the family circle. The donor bank is consulted for another part of the patients. “It is extremely difficult to find a match,” Matchis spokesman Bert Elbertse said earlier.
That is why it is important that as many people as possible register as donors. Matchis is mainly looking for donors between the ages of 18 and 35. People over 35 must pay a personal contribution of 35 euros if they want to register. “Young people in particular are suitable as donors. They have better stem cells,” explained Elbertse.
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