Every year, over one lakh people are diagnosed with blood cancer and blood disorders in India, and statistics reveal that only 30% of blood disorder patients needing a stem cell transplant can find a related match in their family, and about 70% need an unrelated donor. Despite this huge burden, the number of Indians registered in stem cell registries is significantly lower than in many other countries. The need of the hour is to address this gap, which can be done by increasing the donor registration base.
Blood Cancer Patient Swatil
Many patients are waiting for an HLA-matched donor to undergo stem cell transplantation. One of the patients, Swatil, a 39-year-old from Mumbai suffering from blood cancer, urgently needs a matching stem cell donor to get the treatment. Swatil was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia with Myelodysplastic Syndromes in January 2023, and his condition is deteriorating rapidly.
Swatil belongs to the Gujarati community and is currently being treated at Jaslok Hospital Mumbai. Swatil appeals to you, “Nothing would bring me greater joy than to witness my son grow and build a successful life. You can help me get a second chance at life and make this dream a reality for us. I need an angel to help me win this battle for my beloved son and family.”
DKMS BMST Foundation India, a non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against blood cancer and related disorders, is coordinating the search for a matching donor for Swatil. Anyone aged between 18-55 can help Swatil and other patients like him by registering online as a potential stem cell donor at: www.dkms-bmst.org/swatil
Patrick Paul, CEO, DKMS BMST Foundation India, said that stem cell transplants are the most effective treatment for high-risk blood cancers and other life-threatening blood diseases such as Thalassemia and Aplastic Anemia. But the patient needs an HLA-matched donor for a stem cell transplant to succeed. It is challenging for Indian patients to find donors because only 0.04% of the Indian population is registered as potential stem cell donors. The under-representation of Indian ethnicity in stem cell registries poses a huge problem for patients like Swatil. Patrick urged everyone to come forward and register with DKMS-BMST to be a potential lifesaver today!
Swatil’s father-in-law, Dr. Ashok Shah, Consultant Physician, Honorary Physician at Orange Multi-Speciality Hospital and INS Plus Multi-Speciality Hospital, Navsari, stated that none of their family members is an HLA-match (Human Leukocyte Antigen) for Swatil, so their only option is to find an unrelated donor from people at large. Dr. Shah requests everyone to please come forward and register online as a potential blood stem cell donor to help give Swatil a chance to watch his son grow up and follow his dreams.
You can save Swatil and join this noble cause by registering at: www.dkms-bmst.org/swatil
What is the registration process?
All it takes is five minutes of your time and a simple 3 step process:
Step 1: Visit the site, complete an online form, and receive a DIY swab kit at home.
Step 2: Once you receive the swab kit, fill out the consent form and take a tissue sample from the inside of your cheeks with three cotton swabs provided in the kit.
Step 3: Send back your swab sample in the pre-paid envelope provided.
DKMS laboratory will then analyze your tissue type; your details will be available in the global search for blood stem cell donors. Once you become a match, you will be contacted to donate your blood stem cells via the Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Collection process, similar to blood platelet donation. This is a safe, non-surgical outpatient process.
About DKMS BMST Foundation India
A non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against blood cancer and other blood disorders, such as thalassemia and aplastic anemia. Our aim is to improve the situation of patients suffering from blood cancer and other blood disorders in India and throughout the world by raising awareness about blood stem cell transplantation and registering potential blood stem cell donors. By doing this, DKMS-BMST provides patients in need of a blood stem cell transplant with a second chance at life.
DKMS-BMST is a joint venture of two reputed non-profit organizations: BMST (Bangalore Medical Services Trust) and DKMS, one of the world’s largest international blood stem cell donor centers. For more information, please visit dkms-bmst.org.