18 June 2020
Krishnapriya, a college student registered as a potential blood stem cell donor in August 2018 at one of the donor drives organized by DKMS-BMST at her college in Bengaluru. She became a match for a patient just after a year of her registration. She has shared her experience of becoming a lifesaver with us.
I was always fascinated by the science behind the miracles of stem cells since my school days, and when I got to know that how our blood stem cells can give a second chance at life to blood cancer or blood disorder patients I was amazed! I didn’t know anyone directly affected by blood cancer, but after registering I started to do some research and became interested in the procedure of collecting the stem cells from the blood.
Getting that special call
Krishnapriya was surprised when she received the call that she was found to be a match.
She said, ''It’s thrilling to think that the human body has the power to save someone else. It was one of the most unexpected calls of my life till date. I was so anxious and excited at the same time.''
My parents were little skeptical about the pros and cons of the process but they were confident after the DKMS-BMST coordinator explained to them. They were always by my side and supported me.
I donated my blood stem cells in March 2020 through the Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Collection procedure (PBSC). The procedure setup was similar to blood donation. I was attached to a machine that drew the blood out of one arm, filtered and collected the stem cells, and returned the rest of my blood back into my other arm. I felt little soreness in my arms but dint face any other health issues post the donation.
It was no different really to lying on bed at home, except that I couldn’t move my arms. Fortunately, I had my mother beside me. I was comfortable, I had everything I needed, and the nurses were always popping by to see if they could do anything else for me and they were more nervous than me. I had my lunch provided and endless supplies of drinks. The four hours went by in a blink of an eye.
Message to all
To be identified as a potential match for someone and to go on and donate my blood stem cells to help save their life is such an exciting experience and one that I will never forget. ''What better gift can you give then the gift of life?” So, I appeal to everyone who is eligible to please come forward and give someone hope.
How you can help?
If you’d like to register as a potential blood stem cell donor you can check your eligibility and sign up today. Anyone aged between 18-50 and in general good health can go on standby as a potential lifesaver. If you're not eligible or you're already registered, why not check the other ways to get involved in the fight against blood cancer or blood disorders?