Bengaluru: DKMS BMST Foundation India, a non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against blood cancer and blood disorders conducted a blood stem cell donor registration drive at Press Club, Bengaluru today. With an aim to encourage people to register themselves as a potential life saver for blood cancer and blood disorder patients.
Every 5 minutes, someone in India receives the shattering news that they have been diagnosed with blood cancer, Thalassemia or Aplastic Anemia. Most often majority of patients are unable to receive a stem cell transplant due to the unavailability of a matching blood stem cell donor. With very few individuals signing up as potential blood stem cell donors the probability of finding a matching donor gets difficult. This increases the need for more and more people of Indian ethnicity to register themselves and help save a life.
“A successful blood stem cell transplant needs a perfect HLA tissue match. Patients and donors of Indian origin have unique HLA characteristics that are severely under-represented in the global database, which makes the probability of finding a suitable donor even more difficult. The representation of Indian population in the registry is minimal. India Being a young country, our aim is to raise greater awareness about blood stem cell donation through students. Media plays a major role in reaching out to common public. Thus, it is necessary to provide them with enough information on the process right from registering to donating, we thank press club for their incredible support for helping us organize the drive” said Patrick Paul, CEO, DKMS BMST Foundation India.
Every registrant represents hope for all patients and the assurance that, they are not alone in their fight with cancer. Speaking on the drive and the initiative taken by DKMS BMST Foundation India, Mr. R Sridhar, President, Press Club Bangalore said “The participation at the drive was voluntary and we saw a huge number of members participating and coming forward to register as a potential blood stem cell donor. The foundation very clearly explained the complete process to us. We hope that more Indians register and increase hope for patients waiting to find a matching donor.”
Mr. B Mallappa, General Secretary, Press Club Bangalore said, “We believe the youth of today have great potential in encouraging fellow peers towards a noble cause. There can be nothing more grateful to be able to save a life and we as an institute are glad to be a part of a cause which raises awareness among the public about registering as a blood stem cell donor and its impact on a patient’s life. We will continue to support the foundation in their fight against blood cancer”
In India, many blood cancer patients are children and young people whose only chance of recovery is a stem cell transplant. Only about 30% of the patients in need of a stem cell transplant as lifesaving treatment, can find a sibling match. The rest 70% depend on finding a matching unrelated donor. Hence, there is a need for increased and continuous awareness among the people about blood stem cell registration and donation so people can register themselves. From time to time, DKMS BMST Foundation India conducts patient-donor drives across the country to encourage registration and spread awareness.