Stem cell donation

It is not always possible to find a suitable donor for every patient who needs a stem cell transplant. The government therefore asks everyone between the ages of 18 and 50 to consider donating stem cells.

What is stem cell donation?

Stem cell donation is often the only or last resort for patients suffering from leukaemia or other types of blood cancer. In a stem cell transplant, cells are taken from the bone marrow or blood of a healthy donor and transferred to the patient through a drip. The stem cells then grow into healthy blood cells.

Stem cell donation is voluntary

A patient may receive a stem cell transplant from a relative. However, the chance of finding a suitable match within the family is only 30%, so it is often necessary to look elsewhere for a voluntary donor. The Matchis Foundation website gives more information about how stem cell transplantation works.

Government encourages stem cell donation

In 2013, 96% of Dutch patients had to draw on foreign donor banks for stem cell transplants. The government therefore asks people aged 18 to 50 to consider donating stem cells. More registered stem cell donors means a better chance of finding a suitable match for a patient who needs a transplant.

Registering as a stem cell donor

The Matchis Foundation registers all stem cell donors in the Netherlands. You can register as a stem cell donor on Registering as a blood or organ donor does not automatically make you a stem cell donor. You always have to register with the Matchis Foundation. You do not need a DigiD to do this online.