International Nonprofit Provides 126K+ Swabs Globally to Help Fight Virus
New York, NY, April 24, 2020: DKMS, the world’s largest bone marrow and blood stem cell donor center, has joined the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19), providing 12,000 sterile buccal swabs to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) to be used to test and diagnose the deadly virus.
The buccal swabs were picked up from DKMS US headquarters in Manhattan and delivered to MSK directly.
“It is very important for the safety of our patients and our staff to be able to test whether someone is COVID-19 positive,” said Dr. Marcel R.M. van den Brink, Medical Oncologist, Head, Division of Hematologic Malignancies at MSK. “We were early with the development of a test but were constrained by the lack of swabs. Therefore, we are immensely grateful to DKMS US for the donation of such a large number of swabs. Thank you from the frontline!”
DKMS uses the swabs as part of its mission to register potential donors to join the bone marrow and blood stem cell registry. The buccal swabs meet the requirements of the National Institute of Public Health and the National Institute of Hygiene.
“We race against time every day in our ongoing fight to save the lives of people with blood cancer, and we know how critical it is to have efficient diagnostic testing. It’s important more than ever that we support one another during this challenging time, and we are pleased to donate our swabs to be used for coronavirus testing,” said Agata Maraszek-Dudek, Chief Operating Officer at DKMS US. “While we use these swabs every day to register potential bone marrow and stem cell donors, we know they will now be used with the same goal: to save lives.”
Globally, DKMS has donated more than 126,000 swabs to medical facilities in countries including India and Poland to help with COVID-19 testing.
For more information on DKMS, please visit dkms.org.
DKMS is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting blood cancers like leukemia and other blood-related illnesses inspiring both men and women around the world to register as stem cell donors. DKMS is providing patients with a second chance at life, working closely with families from diagnosis to transplant and beyond. The donor journey begins with a swab of the cheek and can be the action that leads to a lifesaving transplant. DKMS, originally founded in Germany in 1991 by Dr. Peter Harf, has organizations in Poland, Chile, the United Kingdom, United States and India in conjunction with Bangalore Medical Services Trust (BMST). The U.S. office was started in 2004. Globally, DKMS has registered more than 9.9 million people. To join the fight against blood cancer or for more information, please go to dkms.org.