Katharina Harf: Bringing hope to cancer patients
At age 14, Katharina Harf lost her mother to leukemia, the main reason being a lack of bone marrow donors. "At the time there were only 3,000 possible bone marrow donors registered in Germany, where we lived," says Harf, now 33.
Changing the world: DKMS Bone Marrow Donor Center
To prevent other families from suffering, her father started DKMS, a bone marrow donor center in Germany, and within a year the number of registrants grew to 70,000. Four years ago, Harf launched a U.S. branch of DKMS, which now has a database of more than 160,000 potential donors.
What Katharina Harf wants you to know:
Being a bone marrow donor is easier than you think. "You just get your cheek swabbed [request a kit at dkmsamericas.org]. If you're a match, blood is taken from one arm, run through a machine that separates the marrow cells, and puts the blood back in the other arm. It's pretty painless."
Katharina Harf's stay healthy tip:
Appreciate your body every day. "After working with sick people, I really treasure my health. "I try to eat organic food and lots of fruit and veggies."