BENGALURU, India, May 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — To mark World Blood Cancer Day, DKMS BMST Foundation India, a non-profit organization dedicated to fight against blood cancer and related disorders organized a virtual event to raise awareness on the burden of blood cancer in India. DKMS-BMST started its operations in India in 2019 with an intent to add potential blood stem cell donors of Indian ethnicity to the global database and till date have registered over 46,000 potential blood stem cell donors and have helped 35 Indian patients find a matching donor in India.
During the event, a 23-year-old blood cancer patient Kriti from Hazaribagh, Jharkhand shared her story of battling blood cancer and appealed for a blood stem cell donation that can save her life. She took this opportunity to also urge and motivate other people to register themselves as potential blood stem cell donors on www.dkms-bmst.org/kriti. Kriti is being treated in Delhi where doctors have recommended a blood stem cell transplant as the only treatment option for her.
Dr. Dinesh Bhurani, Director, Department of Haemato-oncology & Bone Marrow Transplantation, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Center, New Delhi, said, “Due to the lack of awareness and misinformation, patients don’t get access to the right treatment on time. Blood cancer can be treated and patients like Kriti can get a second chance at life through stem cell transplantations. It is important that healthy people should come forward and register as potential blood stem cell donors thus raising chances for blood cancer patients in India to find a matching blood stem cell donor for a lifesaving transplant.”
Kriti has been battling blood cancer for 11 years and medicines have weakened her body but not her fighting spirit. None of her family members are an HLA-match for her, so, the only option is to find an unrelated donor. Speaking on her condition, Kriti said, “Leukemia slowed me down, but I want to overcome it, study more and become a fashion designer so that I can own a designer boutique someday. I seek your help, it just takes five minutes of your time to sign up, please do register with this simple process of filling a web form and submitting a cheek swab, to help me and other blood cancer patients like me.”
Patrick Paul, CEO, DKMS-BMST said, “Worldwide, only 30% of patients can find a match within their families and hence there is a dire need to find an unrelated donor. Amidst 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.”
The event also witnessed an inspiring moment when a 29-year-old techie Abhishek from Bengaluru shared his experience of donating blood stem cells amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Abhishek registered as a potential blood stem cell donor in 2017 during a drive organized by DKMS-BMST and came up as a match in December 2020. “I was little nervous in the beginning, especially due to the pandemic. But the entire procedure was explained to me in detail, my family supported me, and I donated my blood stem cells in February 2021. The procedure was safe similar to blood platelet donation and COVID-19 guidelines were followed. I was back to my work the next day,” said Abhishek.
“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 of DKMS.
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 a HLA (tissue type) matching donor to survive. The more the number of registered donors the easier it is for patients to find a matching donor. People who are interested and fit the eligibility criteria can register at: www.dkms-bmst.org/kriti
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 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 largest international blood stem cell donor centers in the world.
For more information, please visit www.dkms-bmst.org
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