I BECAME SOMEONE’S PERFECT GENETIC MATCH ON VALENTINE’S DAY!

12 June 2020

Deepika registered as a potential blood stem cell donor in August 2018 during one of the donor registrations drives at her workplace. Little did Deepika realize, this step would have a big impact on someone’s life, in just a year of registration she got a call of being a perfect match for a patient in need of a matching blood stem cell transplant. On Valentine’s Day, she donated her blood stem cells to a stranger to help give them a second chance at life. Thanks to Deepika for being someone’s perfect match - she urges people to share the love and register as a potential lifesaver.

“I attended the orientation session organized by DKMS-BMST. It really struck a chord with me to know that we can actually save someone’s life who is struggling with life-threatening diseases like Blood Cancer. That moment, I decided that I would register with DKMS-BMST.”

RECEIVING THAT IMPORTANT CALL

Honestly, I never expected to actually receive a call because the odds of finding a match are so rare. Over one year after registering with DKMS-BMST, they contacted me by phone and informed me I was identified as a possible match for someone. I couldn’t believe it! It was emotional to think that I was a potential match and that I had the opportunity to save someone’s life. The minute I found out I was a match, I immediately felt a connection to this stranger I didn’t even know.

Within a few days, I was informed about the procedure ahead and that I had to give my blood samples to confirm whether I was an actual match or not. DKMS-BMST coordinators educated me thoroughly about the procedure and I was told this process is called confirmatory typing and is used to find the best possible match for the patient. I was also informed that I was the best possible match for the patient and the procedure was scheduled to happen on Valentine’s Day.

THE DONATION PROCESS

The procedure is called Peripheral Blood Stem cell collection (PBSC) and is quite similar to blood platelet donation. Just in this case only stem cells are taken from the blood and remaining blood components are given back to the donor’s body. Knowing there was someone else at the end who urgently needed my blood stem cells made it highly convincing for me to tolerate just a needle prick pain! I donated through PBSC and was able to see the apheresis machine in action. All I kept thinking was that someone out there is fighting daily to survive and my efforts can make a huge difference to his/her life.

The procedure took about 4 hours to complete, my husband and my sister were always by my side in this decision. I hadn’t planned to be in a hospital setup on Valentine’s Day. I didn’t mind though, because donating my blood stem cells to a stranger on Valentine’s Day was the perfect act of love and care and I will always remember this day throughout my life!

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?