Bengaluru: Ahead of World Marrow Donor Day, blood stem Cell donors from Bangalore came forward and narrated their experience of saving the life of a blood cancer patient, and how life transforming the experience has been for them. They also requested others to join the fight against blood cancer and blood disorders by registering as potential stem cell donors and possibly help someone to live.
DKMS BMST Foundation India organized an event to mark World Marrow Donor Day which falls on the 3rd Saturday of September. To mark this day, DKMS BMST Foundation India felicitated the donors Arushit, Debraj, Daniel and Suresh who were lucky to have donated their blood stem cells recently and have become proud lifesavers.
Patrick Paul, CEO, DKMS BMST Foundation India, said, “As per the World Marrow Donor Association, there are over 40 million donors registered across the globe. Only 0.5 million of these are from India. In India, there is a huge demand and supply gap in patient looking for stem cell transplant from a matching donor. Only 30% of the patients are able to get matching stem cell from their family members the rest 70% of the patients are looking for a matching unrelated donor. India is an ancient population with a diverse ethnicity, therefor it becomes very important that more and more people from varied ethnic background to come forward to register as a stem cell donor. Today, only 0.04% of the total population is registered as a potential blood stem cell donor.”
Over 27500, people have already registered in Karnataka with DKMS-BMST donor stem cell registry and over 70000 all over India. The foundation has also facilitated 67 blood stem cell transplants in the last three years across India.
Young Software Engineer from Bengaluru Arushit said “It has been a truly marvelous experience of knowing that fact that I could save a life. The journey from getting the call from DKMS-BMST to the actual donation was very smooth. I was explained and guided each step of the way and all my queries very satisfactory answered. hopefully, I will meet the person I have helped soon. I feel good about this whole experience.”
Sharing his experience Debraj, a techie from Bengaluru said “I am elated at the fact that my stem cell donation was able to help someone live, and it motivates and inspires me to do more for others in life. Giving someone a second chance at life is deeply satisfying feeling. I would like to also thank DKMS-BMST for a wonderful experience through the whole process. This is once in a life opportunity, not everyone can say that they have saved a life. Let us all come together in large numbers to register as stem cell donors and give hope of life to others.”
Dr. Sunil Bhat, Director & Clinical Lead, Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplantation, Narayana Health said, “India has a very high burden of blood cancer and disorder patients, who due to the lack of potential matching donor are looking at a bleak future. Today, treating and managing blood cancer and blood disorder is possible with a stem cell transplant. Blood stem cell transplant is typically a procedure that replaces unhealthy bone marrow cells of the patient with healthy cells. Peripheral blood stem cell is collected from the donor via a similar process to blood platelet donation.”
Patrick Paul, said, “I express my gratitude to the brave men and women who have come forward and contributed to our fight against blood cancer and blood disorder. Today, their experiences of saving a life can inspire countless individuals to become stem cell donors. Each life is precious and so many lives can be saved with the medical technology and treatment available today, the need of the hour is for the people to come ahead to register and help patients get a second chance at life.”
Patrick Paul, further added, “DKMS registry is organizing an international symposium on 23rd and 24th September at Bengaluru. The symposium aims to raise awareness, deliberate on latest research in the field of stem cell transplantation and how DKMS as an international registry is helping blood cancer patients with second chances at life. Transplant physician, hematologists, and transplant coordinator from across India and Germany would be participating in the symposium.”