Wednesday, 29 January 2020

DKMS BMST raises awareness on blood stem cell donation

17 December 2019 | News

Over 100 people registered as potential lifesavers

Pinkathon 2019-the biggest women’s run created with an objective of spreading awareness about health-related issues, sees mass participation in support of blood cancer this year. Milind Soman, founder of Pinkathon along with DKMS BMST Foundation India a non-profit organisation dedicated to the fight against blood cancer and other blood disorders, led the conversation at the platform that sees a massive participation from all age groups every year.

Every year about 80,000-1,00,000 patients search for blood stem cell donor on an average, but, as little as only 2,000 patients find a matching donor due to the lack of awareness amongst the public about stem cell donation. The run saw a participation of survivors as well as families who could not find a matching donor in time and lost their loved one to blood cancer. Saluting sisterhood against blood cancer, one of the mother Ms Divya Shenoy who lost her 3-year-old son, Ishaan, to blood cancer said, “We have been through the hopeful ‘wait’ to find a match for our beloved son. Knowing that someone around the world can save your dear one and yet being helpless is the most difficult part of the journey. We urge more and more people to register themselves as a potential lifesaver for patients who suffer from blood cancer and related disorders as blood stem cell transplant  sometimes is the only way to save them”.

At the event, a team of volunteers from DKMS BMST Foundation India organized a donor registration drive to raise awareness about the incidence of blood cancer and related disorders and encourage the Pinkathon participants to register as a potential blood stem cell donor. “One new blood cancer patient is added every 5 minutes in India. However, the ratio of people who are able to find a suitable match within their families are as low as 30 percent only. The rest of 70 percent of blood cancer patients are heavily dependent upon an unrelated donor who can be a perfect match. This can be achieved only when more and more people commit to register as a blood stem cell donor”, said Patrick Paul, CEO, DKMS BMST Foundation India.

Milind Soman, Pinkathon founder, Actor and fitness promoter encouraged everyone to come forward and register as a blood stem cell donor, he gave an insight about how important it is for blood cancer patients to find a matching donor. He said if more and more people register as a stem cell donor, we can save more lives and stem cell donation can help a person with life threatening disease where stem cell transplant is the only hope of survival.

Explaining the process of a blood stem cell donation Dr Sunil Bhat, Director and Clinical Lead, Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplantation, Narayana Health Group of Hospitals (Bangalore and Mumbai) said,

“The process of peripheral blood stem cell donation is relatively simple. The process is very similar to platelet or blood donation and it is absolutely safe for the donors. It is amazing how a simple "act of donation" can gift another life to someone battling diseases like blood cancer and other blood related disorders. The bigger challenge is awareness in the society and commitment to donation”.

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