The editorial team of Wprost Zdrowie was awarded by the DKMS foundation for its commitment to spreading the idea of ​​bone marrow donation

The editorial team of Wprost Zdrowie was awarded by the DKMS foundation for its commitment to spreading the idea of ​​bone marrow donation

By donating bone marrow, we can save a human life. It is the most beautiful thing we can give to another person. The DKMS Foundation has just celebrated its 15th anniversary in Poland, and awarded the Zdrowie Wprost editorial office with a special award.

On Thursday (February 22, 2024), the DKMS foundation celebrated its 15th anniversary in Poland. It started its activity in 2009 and since then it has been constantly pursuing its mission, finding unrelated bone marrow donors for patients fighting blood cancer. On this occasion, a media meeting was held at the Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, during which we could listen to wonderful and touching stories of patients, but also of people who had been really involved in helping the sick during that time. Moreover, we had the great honor to receive distinction “Friend of the DKMS Foundation”.

Wprost Zdrowie editorial team awarded by the DKMS foundation

The editorial team of Wprost Zdrowie was awarded for promoting the idea of ​​bone marrow donation. We received the title of “Editorial with Life” and a unique angel statuette, which was received by journalist Joanna Biegaj on behalf of the entire editorial office.

“Over these 15 years, thanks to the media, we have been able to reach Poles with patient appeals, registration campaigns, information on bone marrow donation, debunk myths and present facts, but above all, draw society's attention to the problem of blood cancer. That's why today we want to say the loudest “thank you” and award the “Friend of the DKMS Foundation” distinction – said Magdalena Przysłupska, spokeswoman for the DKMS Foundation, during the anniversary.

Stories that reach society and knowledge about donating hematopoietic stem cells are often an impulse to make a conscious decision to register at the Bone Marrow Donor Center, and consequently – hope for patients.

Special guest of the event: author of the first successful bone marrow transplant in Poland

The event was also an opportunity to summarize all the years of the foundation's work from the very beginning of its operation in our country. An extremely important figure in this context is prof. Ph.D. n. med. Wiesław W. Jędrzejczak, who was a special guest. It was he who participated in introducing the DKMS foundation to Poland, but not only that. First of all, he is an outstanding doctor and scientist, a long-time national consultant in hematology, and the author of the first successful bone marrow transplant from a related donor in Poland. He is known for his medical achievements, but also as a “life-affirming optimist” and a great advocate of the idea of ​​bone marrow donation.

The professor talked about, among other things, the situation of sick people in Poland who could benefit from a bone marrow transplant.

First of all, bone marrow transplantation was changing. It was changing in many respects. Back then, when we started, the age limit for bone marrow transplantation was actually 45. Currently, the average age of patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation is around 60 years. So this is a complete structural change, the professor noted.

Spreading the idea of ​​bone marrow donation by famous people

The event was also attended by Dorota Rabczewska “Doda” – the initiator of the largest campaign in history to register potential bone marrow donors. The impetus for action was the illness of her then fiancé, Adam Darski. The artist saved the lives of hundreds of people. Her commitment translated into real help. During the gala, she also received an award for her actions. Also present was actor Marek Kaliszuk – the actual bone marrow donor, who was also honored.

The 15th anniversary of the DKMS foundation was also an opportunity to return to the most important and most moving moments from the foundation's activity. It was a time to “celebrate thousands of stories of second life.” The room included people who contributed to spreading the idea of ​​bone marrow donation, but also those who gained a “second life” thanks to finding their genetic twin. “I am happy that I can be here, that the foundation has been operating for so long and has saved the lives of people like me,” said 12-year-old Hania Wałęsa, who received a new bone marrow in 2015. In 2017, Hania became known throughout Poland – she appeared in the billboard and television campaign of the DKMS Foundation. At that time, however, most people thought that the girl with two pigtails in a blue dress, holding swab sticks in her hands, was a fake actress.

How can you become a bone marrow donor?

The fact that almost two million bone marrow donors have registered over the last 15 years shows that we, Poles, are altruistic and that we can and know how to help. This is something that is very encouraging and we wish that we will continue to have so many people around us who want to help, and we will continue to do our part – said Ewa Magnucka-Bowkiewicz, president of the DKMS foundation.

To become a potential bone marrow donor, go to the DKMS foundation website, click on the “Become a Donor” icon and register online. Then, such a person will receive a sample collection package home, which will then need to be sent back to the address of the DKMS foundation. Just take a swab from the inside of your cheek according to the instructions included in the package, and complete the attached form. However, registration itself does not mean that such a person will actually have the opportunity to help someone. Also remember that donating bone marrow doesn't hurt – it's just a harmful myth.

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