A call to save a life

Request you to kindly take 5 minutes to read the below note to help a dear friend, Karthik Shankaran, a batchmate of mine from IIM Bangalore. He has been suffering from blood cancer since Jan 2011. He was treated in 2011 but the cancer relapsed in March 2013. Stem cell donation is the one viable option to get the cancer out of his system.

What does this mean? And how can you contribute? Read below -

1. Please register here. They will send you a stem cell donor kit.
Anyone from ages 18-55 can check for their stem cell code. As long as you don't have AIDS or cancer, you are OK to get into the stem cell registry. It does not matter what your blood group or your gender or any other ailment you have.

2. The donor kit contains a form to fill up and a cotton swab. Do the cheek swab test at home. It takes 5 minutes to fill out the form and do the test. Here's what you need to do -

3. Put the form in the envelope they send and put in a cheque for Rs. 2500. This is a one-time contribution in a lifetime, to get you to be a life-saver someday. DATRI is one of the most famous and does it the cheapest of the lot in India. Send back the same to DATRI as soon as possible since they take around a month to get the results of your stem cell type (they send it to the USA) 

4. After a month when the result is received, the same will be tested against Karthik's stem cell. Here, they need to match close to 6-10 parameters in your blood protein versus Karthik's blood protein. Only when all of these match does it get counted as as a proper match.

5. For more information on what a stem cell is / how the whole thing works etc - check this PDF from DATRI. http://www.datriworld.org/DatriPreDonorDrive.pdf

For whites, there is a 50% chance that there is a match with an existing donor in the registry - purely because there are millions of whites who have registered. For South Asians incl. Indians, the odds are much lower since the no. of people in the registry is much lesser. Hence, a sincere request to you personally to get onto the database to save a life right away, or at some future date when there is a match.

If you are actually a match, then what do you need to do?
  • You will be called in to do a regular check-up
  • You will then be given some normal injections to improve your stem cell count in your blood over a 3-4 day span
  • You will then need to donate blood (similar to any other blood donation) in the hospital under supervision
  • The medical authorities will take the blood, filter out the stem cells for injecting into the patient
  • Once the stem cells are injected into the patient, the hope is that the patient's system generates new blood using you cells and completely gets rid of the cancer cells in their system
If you are not a match for Karthik, then what happens? - Nothing right away. Your details are stored in the database and at some future point in time, if any other person who is suffering from cancer needs a stem cell transplant, then they will keep checking against all the records in the database and if there is a match, then you will be called to save that life.

For more details refer - http://www.facebook.com/swab4karthik or the website http://www.swab4karthik.com

Do order your kit right away.

Thanks & Regards

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rajiv, even beyond Karthik this post would help do good to others. You could also check this link (http://www.datriworld.org/DatriPreDonorDrive.pdf) for a better understanding on the "Peripheral Blood Stem Cells" (PBSC) that they extract.

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