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Save the Date August 12 & 13, 2017
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Black Tie International:
DKMS Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival


DKMS to Sponsor Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in Effort to Reach Diverse Communities


Nonprofit leading the fight against blood cancer to raise awareness of the need for more diverse bone marrow donors


New York DKMS, part of the world’s largest bone marrow donor center, today announced its sponsorship of the 27th Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festivalan annual sporting and multicultural event that celebrates the fifth moon of the lunar calendar. DKMS will be on hand at the festival, which takes place on August 12 and 13 on Meadow Lake in Flushing, Queens, to raise awareness of the need to diversify the number of bone marrow/blood stem cell donors.


Ethnicity plays an important factor in finding an unrelated match, as those who share the same ancestry are more likely to have similar HLA characteristics. Asians and other minorities are severely underrepresented in the bone marrow registry, with Asians making up only 6% of the donor pool.


“DKMS is proud to be a sponsor at this year’s Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival,” said Carina Ortel, CEO of DKMS US. “The need for donors is critical, especially for those from racially and ethnically diverse communities, who face much lower odds of being able to find a match. With every new individual who swabs, we are one step closer in finding a lifesaving match for all patients with blood cancer or a blood-related illness.”


In addition to providing audiences with traditional Chinese foods and performances, the festival hosts over 120 dragon boat teams from across North America, making it one of the largest dragon boat festivals in the United States.


In addition to sponsoring one of the boating teams, DKMS will also host a registration table at the event, where race participants and festival attendees can swab their cheeks to register as potential bone marrow donors and learn more about the simple steps to save someone’s life.


Unrelated donors are needed for transplants in 70% of the cases of patients suffering from blood cancers or blood disorders. A simple cheek swab is all it takes to register as a potential donor.


For more information on DKMS, to register or to fund the mission,
please visit


About DKMS

DKMS is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating blood cancers like leukemia and other blood-related illnesses inspiring both men and women around the world to register as bone marrow and blood 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 that takes less than 60 seconds 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, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. The U.S. office was started in 2004. Globally, DKMS has registered more than 7.4 million people. To join the fight against blood cancer or for more information, please go to .


Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

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