29 July 2019
Dr. Shaina, 26, from Bangalore registered as a blood stem cell donor in 2016 during a registration drive organized by DKMS-BMST. Little did she know that after 2 years she would be receiving a call saying she came as a perfect match for a blood cancer patient giving her a chance to save someone’s life.
She says - “After I registered and gave my swab samples, to be honest, I forgot all about it until August 2018, when I got a phone call saying that I had been matched with a patient who needed a blood stem cell donation. The process from that point was surprisingly easy for me, the whole process was very much comfortable. Everyone was very much supportive and I was reassured by all of the precautions in place to ensure that the health of both myself and recipient were carefully considered.”
The donation process
Describing about the blood stem cell donation process she says - “Honestly there was no pain or anything. I donated through the peripheral blood stem cell collection (PBSC). It was just like regular blood donation done with a lot more attention and care that was being given to me. The whole process was very much comfortable. Everyone was very supportive. The doctor gave a total unbiased picture of the procedure and I was given injections of G-CSF for four days prior to donation. The procedure actually was far more comfortable to me as to what I had thought of.” G-CSF (granulocyte-colony stimulating factor) is a naturally occurring growth hormone that stimulates the production of stem cells in the blood of the donor before collection.
A word to other potential lifesavers
Dr Shaina said - “We need to broaden the horizon of our thinking; a little pain for helping someone with a new life is something worth taking happily and I feel privileged that I have been able to do this for someone and hope the person who received my donation is now on the road to recovery. I hope my story can help put other potential donors at ease, or raise some more awareness. I’d tell anyone who’s not on the DKMS-BMST register to just do it. Cheek swabbing is just a few moments out of your life to potentially help save someone else. Having done it I’m very passionate about DKMS-BMST. It is an amazing feeling knowing you’ve given someone a second chance at life – being a blood stem cell donor is one of the best things I’ve ever done.”
Hats off to Dr Shaina for her altruistic act. She has given someone the best gifts of all - a second chance at life! You can also become a lifesaver by registering as a potential blood stem cell donor.
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.