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Cambridge volunteers call for superheroes to fight blood cancer at London Comic Con


By Ben Comber


DKMS volunteers Yew Wei tan, Florian Buhr and Prashanth Ciryam.
DKMS volunteers Yew Wei tan, Florian Buhr and Prashanth Ciryam.

A group of volunteers are encouraging people to register as stem cell donors.

A group of dedicated Cambridge volunteers are heading to the London Film and Comic Con to register as many people as possible to become a superheroes in the fight against blood cancer.

The volunteers are working with blood cancer charity DKMS. The event will be held in Olympia London on July 27–29.

Volunteer, Florian Buhr 34, originally from Germany, donated his stem cells to a complete stranger in 2016.

Florian, a postdoctoral research scientist at Cambridge University, was identified as a match for a 53 year old Swiss patient using a non surgical method known as ‘peripheral blood stem cell collection’ in 2016.

Since then Florian has been inspired to raise awareness on the need for more people to register and potentially save someone’s life.

Florian said: “I wanted to volunteer after my blood stem cell donation experience ended up saving somebody’s life. For me it was the easiest thing I could have done”.

Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer. The charity says that many people never find the lifesaving blood stem cell donor match they need, not because a match doesn’t exist, but because there aren’t enough people registered as donors.

Shafia Begam, Senior Volunteer Manager, DKMS UK, said: ʺOur Cambridge volunteers have been fantastic. They have started working on plans to organise regular donor registration events at Cambridge University and local businesses. Over 3000 Cambridge residents are lifesavers in waiting, we hope many more will support us and register with the Cambridge Hub or online.

“I am confident that Florian and the team will take their commitment and enthusiasm to London as they seek to register even more donors at London Comic Con. Please spare the time visit our stand but if you can’t make the donor drive, you can register online for a home swab kit at www.dkms.org.uk”.

To register one potential blood stem cell donor it costs £40. DKMS relies on monetary donations to help cover this cost.



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