The DKMS Story
In 1990, Katharina Harf’s life changed forever when her mother, Mechtild, was diagnosed with an acute form of blood cancer. Her family was told that a bone marrow transplant could save her mother's life, if she could find a matching donor. With only 3000 donors available in Germany at the time and no matching donors with her family, the situation seemed hopeless.
Determined to make the impossible, possible, Katharina’s father, Peter Harf, made it his mission to find his wife a donor. With the help of family, friends and volunteers, he worked tirelessly to recruit 68,000 bone marrow donors in only one year and founded Delete Blood Cancer DKMS in Germany in 1991. Sadly, that same year, Mechtild lost her hard-fought battle with blood cancer. Katharina was only fourteen.
Katharina’s mother's death shaped her life in many significant ways. It motivated her in 2004 to continue the lifesaving work that her father began in 1990 by leading the expansion of Delete Blood Cancer into the United States. Katharina’s goal in life is to help other blood cancer patients by to increasing and diversifying the donor registry, so that no family has to endure the pain hers suffered.
What began as a mission to save one woman, has become a global movement dedicated to saving everyone with blood cancer.
Meet Me At The Fair Takes On New Meaning
Dave DeCecco registered at a Delete Blood Cancer donor drive at the Washington Town & Country Fair in 2010. At the time he knew it was the right thing to do, but the realization that he could one day save a life only seemed like a distant possibility. For two-year-old Lucky Mulholland, it was a decision that would change her life. Dave would go on to donate his bone marrow to Lucky, a complete stranger, knowing only that she was in dire need of a transplant and had nobody else to turn to. On Friday, August 8th, Dave and Lucky will meet for the first time on the Pepsi Main Stage at 8:00 p.m., just before 3 Doors Down takes the stage.
This inspiring meeting could only have been accomplished through the dedicated efforts of the Washington Town and Country Fair to increase awareness for the cause and encourage fairgoers to register as potential donors. In the past 4 years, over 1,300 people have signed up at the fair to be added to the national registry. Four of those registrants have been matched and completed the donation process to give someone a second chance at life! Delete Blood Cancer will have a tent at the fair from noon until 8 p.m. on Friday, August 8 and Saturday, August 9.
Delete Blood Cancer partnered with the Washington Town & Country Fair to register donors at the 2010, 2011, and 2013 fairs. Donors will be registered again this year, PLUS... a donor that registered at our fair will meet his recipient and her family Friday night before the 3 Doors Down concert!
How Do I Help?
So far at our fair, over 1,300 people have registered, and four people have gone through the entire donation process to give someone a second chance at life.
Registration Booth Hours
Friday: Noon - 8:00 p.m.
Saturday: Noon - 8:00 p.m.
Requirements to be on registry
Frequently Asked Questions
Please join us in the fight against blood cancer!
Washington Town & Country Fair
A division of the Washington Area Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 752 * Washington, MO 63090 * (636) 239-2715
Logo Design by
Steve Hoffman, The Graphics Company
Background Photo by