World Marrow Donor Day: Awareness event on stem cell donation held

DKMS BMST Foundation India along with students at RV College of Engineering thanks blood stem cell donors across the world to mark World Marrow Donor Day

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Students at RV College of Engineering thank blood stem cell donors ahead of World Marrow Donor Day.

Bengaluru: DKMS BMST Foundation India and over 300 students from RV College of Engineering who have registered themselves as a blood stem cell donor, celebrated World Marrow Donor Day in the city. Alongside the celebration, the foundation conducted awareness and a registration drive at the college to highlight the need for stem cell donation in India and encourage fellow students to register themselves as a lifesaver for blood cancer and related disorder patients.

Every 5 minutes, someone in India receives the shattering news that they have been diagnosed with blood cancer, Thalassemia or Aplastic Anemia. Apart that, every year, of about the 80,000 donor searches initiated across the globe, India has one of the highest ratios of searches that do not result in blood stem cell transplant. For many patients including children in need of a stem cell transplant, finding a suitable match is extremely difficult. DKMS BMST Foundation India is a global registry aiming to improve the chances of a patient by providing access to a global bank of potential donors. “The representation of Indian population in the registry is minimal. This increases the need for more and more people of Indian ethnicity to register themselves as a potential stem cell donor and help save a life. Every registrant represents hope for all patients and the assurance that, they are not alone in their fight with cancer,” said Patrick Paul, CEO, DKMS BMST Foundation India.

Interacting with the students and giving them a real-life example, Ramachandrasriharsha, a donor said, “I feel privileged that I was a match for someone and have been able to save someone’s life. After I registered as a blood stem cell donor I was committed since beginning and finally getting that call was a big surprise and unexpected as well. The whole procedure was very smooth and DKMS-BMST was there with me all the time in this process. I appeal everyone to come forward and register as a blood stem cell donor and give someone a second chance at life!”

World Marrow Donor Day (WMDD) is celebrated globally on the third Saturday of September with an objective to thank all unrelated donors, family donors, blood stem cell donors and registered donors worldwide. “We are forever indebted to millions of potential blood stem cell donors around the world. Their altruism is a reminder that the capacity for human kindness is boundless. Today, and every day, we thank you for being a light in the darkness and a difference in the lives of so many”, opined Dr. Elke Neujahr, Global CEO of DKMS.

The event is a part of DKMS-BMST Foundation’s initiative to raise awareness among the public about being a stem cell donor and the impact of blood stem cell transplantation on a patients’ life. From time to time, the foundation conducts patient-donor drives across the city to encourage registration and spread awareness.