1 July 2019
Chirag, a 12 year old beta-thalassemia patient waited for 10 years for an unrelated matching donor to undergo a blood stem cell transplant. A donor for him was found in the database of DKMS and he underwent the transplant two years ago at Apollo Chennai.
Describing about their journey Chirag’s father said:
We were extremely happy when Chirag was born. Him being our first child we were in seven heavens. Still remember I flew down from Tokyo for the delivery and it was an awesome experience. He was close to 4KGS and a healthy baby.
But, when he was just 3 months old our world came upside down and I flew back from Tokyo but this time for the shocker. He was diagnosed with Thalassemia Major and by the time we realized, understood how severe and difficult it was, we were into regular blood transfusions for him. It was nightmare to take him to hospital every 3-4 weeks and difficult to find veins.
We started searching for permanent cure and got to know about Bone Marrow Transplant / Stem Cell Transplant. After long research and understanding, we were first advised for sibling chances and we went for our daughter Sukriti and throughout my wife's pregnancy we were tensed about prenatal diagnosis to see if she was fine. We found she is fine but later, unfortunately, she was Haplo matched and we lost hope of any further chance of cure. We lost hope and then arrived concept and possibility of an Unrelated, inter-geography Stem Cell transplant and we began worldwide search with help of Consulting Transplant Doctor and team.
We found 100% match for Chirag in DKMS in 2013 but due to lack of confidence and no reference to successful cases, we dropped it then. Again in 2016 the same match knocked our door and to our surprise Doctor patched us with another recipient who underwent BMT in 2014 and was doing extremely well and we got in touch with them. After talking to them on all details and seeing the child we gathered courage to go for it. Initially, we had lots and lots of apprehension and we were very scared but step by step we got confidence and rest is history. Chirag is doing great leading normal life and happy to play his sports fearlessly.
Chirag is an active kid and said : Everyone should register as a potential blood stem cell donor and be a committed donor and take pledge to give second chance at life to someone in need of blood stem cell transplant.
We want Chirag to be an example for all who need and are waiting for a matching stem cell transplant. Don't loose patience there is someone for you we just need to find him.
All the best.