Over 400 students registered as potential stem cell donors in the fight against Cancer
The registration drive was organized by the initiate social partner DKMS BMST Foundation India
PONDA: Aiming to raise awareness about blood stem cell donation and to encourage people to register as potential lifesavers, DKMS BMST Foundation India conducted a stem cell donor registration drive at the ‘CultRang-2023’ student fest in IIT Goa.
Over 400 students registered as potential lifesavers. DKMS-BMST, a non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against blood cancer and blood disorders, hopes to register many more students during the ongoing three-day student fest at IIT Goa.
Every 5 minutes, someone in India is diagnosed with blood cancer or a blood disorder like Thalassemia or Aplastic Anemia. Many such patients are children and young people whose only chance of recovery is a stem cell transplant. The patient must find an HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) matched donor for a successful stem cell transplant. Most patients are often unable to receive a transplant due to the unavailability of a matching blood stem cell donor. With very few individuals signing up as potential blood stem cell donors, finding a matching donor is difficult. This increases the need for more people of Indian ethnicity to register themselves.
Patrick Paul, CEO of DKMS BMST Foundation India, says, “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. The representation of the Indian population in the registry is minimal. India, being a young country, our aim is to raise greater awareness about blood stem cell donation through students.”
Dr Divya Padmanabhan, Faculty Advisor Cultural, IIT Goa, says, “I am glad to inform you that CultRang-2023 is collaborating with DKMS-BMST as its social initiative partner. We appreciate their efforts in helping blood cancer patients. We believe the youth of today have great potential in encouraging fellow peers towards a noble cause. There can be nothing more incredible than saving a life, and we as an institute are glad to be a part of a cause that raises awareness among the public about registering as a blood stem cell donor and its impact on a patient’s life.”
24-year-old Prajwal, who recently saved a life by donating his blood stem cells, was also present to share his experience and inspire students to register as potential lifesavers.