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The blood cancer jackpot

With 300 newly registered stem cell donors and a good 9,000 euros, employees and plant management of Rolled Products Grevenbroich support the bone marrow donation center (KMSZ) of the University Hospital Düsseldorf - help for a "bank" that helps save lives. A delegation from Hydro found out more.

More than 160,000 people willing to donate, especially from the Rhineland, are listed in this database: each with micrometer-sized samples of their cells, six times as thin as the aluminum high-performance film from Hydro. The cell samples are obtained from the mouth using a cotton swab. The laboratory technicians at KMSZ take this minimum of cells on a journey into molecular biology, break it down to the gene building block and finally know the structure of the tissue characteristics of the stem cells of the individual donor.

The fact that my stem cells are tolerated by someone new to blood cancer "would be a bigger sensation than hitting the jackpot in the lottery," says Dr. Johannes Fischer, head of the KMSZ. That is why new donors are in great demand: the more registered The database holds donors with different tissue characteristics, the more hope of finding a suitable one for the sick.

8,000 people in Germany every year, one person every 20 minutes, are given the life-threatening diagnosis that they have leukemia or another dangerous blood disorder. If a donation fits your attacked stem cells, your chance of survival increases enormously: from 4 to up to 90 percent.

colleague Trippen on the mend

Just like for Reimund Trippen from the Band tailoring shop in the Grevenbroich plant. The works council organized a large campaign for the colleague suffering from leukemia, and many took part: 300 roll millers had their cheek swab tested last spring, and now their tissue characteristics are typed and listed in the KMSZ.

But only somewhere else, after many anxious months, a suitable donation was finally found for the badly weakened Hydro colleague. The treatment of leukemia is extremely demanding and harbors risks. The transmission of blood stem cells worked at Reimund Trippen. The Rommerskirchener is on the mend. Let's hope for the best for him!

“The many new donors, including those from Hydro, are of great help to us. In total, we won around 24,000 new donors with their genetic data in 2012, "says Anette Herda from the KMSZ. She also emphasizes her thanks to Rolled Products for the donation: The employees in Grevenbroich gave 4,106 euros for their Christmas collection, and the plant management added 5,000 euros Both amounts were transferred to the KMSZ.

Help is very welcome. The KMSZ does its job with good technical equipment, but with a tight budget and economical furniture for the 50 employees. 15 of them take care of a special kind of donation: unrelated stem cell donations from 17,000 umbilical cords of newly born mothers, kept cool in nitrogen tanks.

This is what the delegates of Hydro, HR Manager Cordula Dressler, the Works Councils Ernst Schumacher and Andrea Büttner, and Communication Manager Michael Peter Steffen see - as well as how acute help is provided - during their visit to the KMSZ - but also how acute help is provided: two women have their blood drawn "Lifesaver jackpot" for two patients with leukemia. The blood packets are then transported to the treatment of the sick as quickly as possible, in Germany or elsewhere in the western world. "A highly professional logistics and medical infrastructure is necessary for stem cell transplantation," explains Fischer.

After stem cell typing, it takes at least four weeks, maybe a year, or almost 40 years, to reach this donation jackpot. Or maybe not. The vast majority of those willing to donate - 4 million in Germany, almost 20 million worldwide - remain willing only for all the time because their genome is not suitable for any of the donations they are looking for. "At 60 you are too old to donate, then your data will be removed from our file," says Anette Herda. Every year in the KMSZ alone, a few thousand willing donors are lost. All bone marrow donation registries are always looking for new donors and it continues to say: "Your type is in demand" - with the hope of a helping jackpot against leukemia.

This text is machine translated. To view the original German text, click on DE on the top right of this window

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