Matchis Foundation, the centre for stem cell donors, reacts with sadness to the death of PSV press secretary Thijs Slegers. In early February, the former sports journalist announced that he could no longer recover from acute leukemia, but others might. That is why he made an appeal to donate stem cells and blood.
Since then, between 10,000 and 11,000 people signed up as potential stem cell donors at Matchis.
“New people are still signing up. We really see that donation has come alive in the sports world. Especially among men, which is very special,” says a spokesperson. “This used to be a target group we didn’t know how to reach so easily”.
PSV announced Monday that Slegers had died at the age of 46. That news hit Matchis Foundation hard. A spokesman: “I am shocked and colleagues are upset by it. We had little personal contact with him, but indirectly we did. It has set a lot in motion. That someone is so committed to the subject we are so enormously involved with: that makes an impression”.
So, after Slegers’ appeal, things accelerated at Matchis. “We are very grateful to him, because more donors are very much needed for patients who need a stem cell donation. It is for these people that we do our work.”
People in need of donation
People diagnosed with leukemia have a chance to be completely cured of the disease through stem cell donations. To do so, the tissue type of the donor and the patient must match. However, the chance of two people’s tissues matching is very small. In the Netherlands, thousands of people get leukemia every year.
Translated by: Anitha Sevugan