29-year-old Mumbaikar urgently looking out for a matching blood stem cell donor

29-year-old Mumbaikar urgently looking out for a matching blood stem cell donor

With blood stem cell transplant often being the only treatment option that increases rate of survival for a blood cancer patient, Vipul, a 29-year-old guy from Mumbai is looking for a matching blood stem cell donor for his treatment. Vipul has been diagnosed with ‘Myelofibrosis’, a rare form of blood cancer that disrupts the body’s normal production of blood cells.

DKMS BMST Foundation India, a non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against blood cancer and blood disorders is coordinating the search for a matching donor for Vipul. To reach out to people across India, DKMS-BMST has launched a virtual drive where one can register online to be a potential lifesaver and save patients like Vipul. Link to register: www.dkms-bmst.org/Vipul

Vipul loves adventure sports and lives life to the fullest, he is a happy-go-lucky person and wants to pursue his career in computer applications. But everything came to a standstill when he was diagnosed with Myelofibrosis in March 2021. Currently, Vipul is being treated at Christian Medical College, Vellore under Dr. Biju George, Professor & Head, Department of Hematology.

“Vipul’s condition is critical and a stem cell transplant from a matching donor is his only chance at survival. Vipul has two elder sisters out of which only one of his sisters turned out to be just 5/10 HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) match to him. As none of his family members are a perfect match for him, he is now looking for an unrelated donor. 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. This increases the need for more people of Indian ethnicity to register as a potential blood stem cell donor and help save patients like Vipul,” says Dr. Biju.

Per statistics, only 30% of blood disorder patients in need of a stem cell transplant are able to find a sibling match and about 70% of patients need an unrelated donor. In India, we see almost one lakh new cases of blood cancer every year. Despite this huge burden, only 0.04% of the Indian population is registered as potential blood stem cell donors which is significantly lower than many other countries. The need of the hour is to address this gap, which can be done if we can increase our donor registration base”, said Patrick Paul, CEO, DKMS BMST Foundation India.

“Life has changed drastically for me since the diagnosis, my health has slowed me down, but I want to overcome it, work hard and achieve my dreams and support my family. Today, I seek your help, it just takes five minutes of your time to register as a potential blood stem cell donor,” says Vipul.

Vipul’s dream seems bleak now as he is running out of time, but you can raise his hope by registering as a potential blood stem cell donor. Any healthy individual between the age-group of 18-50 can register by ordering the home swab kit at www.dkms-bmst.org/Vipul. When you receive the kit, just fill the given consent form, swab the inside of your cheeks to collect tissue cells and return the swab kit. DKMS laboratory will then analyze your tissue type and your pseudonymised details will be available in the global search for blood stem cell donors. To know more: www.dkms-bmst.org