24 June 2019
A magical moment took place when a 14-year-old Indian boy who was suffering from Thalassemia since he was 3 months old got the opportunity to meet his lifesaver Harshil from London, who gave him second chance at life after selflessly donating his blood stem cells. The meeting took place on World Blood Cancer Day (28th May) in Bangalore, India, to coincide with the launch of DKMS BMST Foundation India.
Searching for a perfect match
Vansh from India, was diagnosed with Thalassemia, a blood disorder and since 2007, had been receiving blood transfusions. Doctors told his family the best chance of survival would be to find a blood stem cell donor – so the urgent search was ON to find his potential lifesaver.
In March 2015, Harshil registered as a potential blood stem cell donor at a donor registration event in the UK. He received an important call a few years later to say he was a potential match for a complete stranger.
He said: The first steps to register as a potential blood stem donor were really straightforward - I filled in a consent form, did some cheek swabs and then went on standby. The thought of knowing I could be there for someone without too much effort sounded really positive, so I thought why not?
In 2017, Harshil received an important call to say he was a potential match for a complete stranger. After which he donated his blood stem cells by Peripheral blood stem cell collection which is a safe and non-surgical outpatient procedure similar to blood platelet donation.
Harshil described the moment he met Vansh as completely overwhelming, emotional and amazing. Vansh said: “Since receiving my transplant. I can do all the things that my friends can do. All the things that a normal child can do, I can go to school, I can play, I can do everything that I want and that is because my lifesaver, Harshil, has given me a new life.
You can also become a lifesaver!
Every 5 minutes, someone in India receives the shattering news that they have been diagnosed with blood cancer, Thalassemia or Aplastic Anemia. Many patients are children and young people whose only chance of recovery is a stem cell donation. Only about 30% of the patients in need of a stem cell transplant as life-saving treatment, are able to find a sibling match. The rest 70% depend on finding a matching unrelated donor. With your help we can defeat Blood cancer, Thalassemia and Aplastic Anemia!
A blood stem cell transplant from a matching donor could be their last chance of survival. Your support could help them find their matching stem cell donor and give that person a second chance at life. Becoming a stem cell donor is easy. To do so, Interested citizens aged 18-50 can register with a simple cheek swab at our Public donor registration Drives.
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.