Bengaluru techie talks about his experience of donating his blood stem cells amidst the pandemic
DKMS BMST Foundation India, a non-profit organisation dedicated to fighting against blood cancer and related disorders organised a virtual event to raise awareness on the burden of blood cancer in India. DKMS-BMST started its operations in India two years ago with an intent to add potential blood stem cell donors of Indian ethnicity to the global database and date have registered over 46,000 potential blood stem cell donors.
“DKMS has globally completed 30 years and with over 10.7 million donors available worldwide and over 92,000 second chances at life given, with offices in Germany, the US, the UK, Poland, Chile, Africa and a joint partnership with BMST in India DKMS has made one of the biggest impacts in the lives of patients across the world,” says Dr Elke Neujahr, Global CEO, DKMS.
In India, over the past two years, DKMS-BMST has successfully helped patients find their matching blood stem cell donors and they are continuing with their mission of giving second chances at life to blood cancer patients by raising awareness on blood stem cell registration and donation.
One of the donors is Abhishek, a 29-year-old techie from Bengaluru who shared his experience of donating blood stem cell amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, said, “I registered as a potential blood stem cell donor in 2017 during a drive organized at my office by DKMS-BMST. I got a call in December 2020 telling me that I was a match for a patient. I was a little nervous in the beginning, especially due to the ongoing pandemic. But I understood that my one step can give someone a second chance at life. The entire procedure was explained to me in detail, my family supported me, and I donated my blood stem cells in February 2021. Everything went well, the procedure was safe, similar to blood platelets donation and COVID-19 guidelines were followed. I was back to my work the next day,” Abhishek said.
Patrick Paul, CEO, DKMS-BMST said “Every year World Blood Cancer Day is observed to raise awareness about blood cancer across the globe. Patients affected by blood cancer need a blood stem cell transplant from an HLA (tissue type), matching donor, to survive. Worldwide, only 30 per cent of them can find a match within their families and hence there is a dire need to find an unrelated donor. During the pandemic, we are trying to ensure that patients whose donations were scheduled do not face any challenges and we are encouraging registrations through the online portal.”