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Lifesaving Commerce

Katharina Harf's management savvy and some celebrity assists help her nonprofit donor center perform like a business.

This story appears in the January 2011 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
Katharina Harf
Katharina Harf

Photo© Natalie Brasington
Number of DKMS-registered donors internationally since 1991: 2.2 million

Number of DKMS-facilitated transplants internationally since 1991: 22,000

Katharina Harf's biggest heartbreak occurred when she was a 14-year-old living in Frankfurt, Germany. Her mother, Mechtild, had been diagnosed the previous year with acute leukemia. Despite Mechtild's six siblings and the roughly 3,000 registered bone marrow donors in Germany at the time, none was a match for a transplant. Harf's mother died in 1991.

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