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Insights / Blog / Inside AOE

DKMS registration: Why we participate

January 30, 2023

Saving lives isn't really part of everyday life as a developer. Our colleague Patrick however did make this incredible experience ten years ago: Thanks to his stem cell donation, a then one-year-old boy survived! According to DKMS, blood cancer is the most frequent cause of cancer-related deaths among children. Worldwide, approximately every 27 seconds a person receives the diagnosis. DKMS wants to give as many people as possible access to a life-saving donation. For that, they are dependent on voluntary stem cell donors.

Patrick, who had registered in 2012, was contacted as a potential match by DKMS in 2013. This is how the story went for him:

  • Health check to confirm the match and to ensure his own safety during the procedure
  • Bone marrow collection via surgery: collection of stem cells from the bone marrow under general anesthesia (in 90% of cases, however, stem cells are collected directly from the bloodstream in an outpatient clinic without surgery. – the method depends on the case)
  • Blood stem cell transplantation to the patient

The procedure was absolutely unproblematic and Patrick was quickly fit again. After a year, he was able to inquire about the course of the transplantation, and a little later, DKMS even establishes contact between donor and recipient if both parties so desire.

Patrick made use of this offer and learned that his donation saved the life of a one-year-old boy with bone cancer in Athens. Today, he is still in loose contact with the family – once they even met in Greece. The boy is now 10 years old.

This story is simply too beautiful not to share – and it also shows how significant something as small as a registration via cheek swab can be in the end.


Sure, a procedure like this isn't particularly pleasant, but that's more than outweighed by the feeling of maybe saving a life!

What has all this got to do with AOE?

We at AOE have been supporting DKMS for years by regularly organizing registration campaigns for our employees – and covering the costs for a registration. In this way, we want to make registration as a stem cell donor as low a threshold as possible and also raise awareness of blood cancer. Registration is a painless and uncomplicated process done by just a cheek swab. More than 50 employees have now registered, and many colleagues have already done so.

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