Abhishek, a 29-year-old techie from Bengaluru shares his heroic experience of donating blood stem cell amidst the COVID-19 pandemic
In 2017, Abhishek registered as a potential blood stem cell donor in a registration event organized by DKMS-BMST at his workplace.
After 3 years of registration, he received a call from us to say he had been identified as a potential match for a patient in need of a stem cell transplant.
Story of becoming a lifesaver
I was in the database of potential donors for around three years, before I got a call saying that I was a potential match for someone. It caught me by surprise as I was at work and not expecting it at all. I’d always thought maybe one day I’d get a call, and the day finally arrived – DKMS-BMST coordinators were very thorough and made everything simple. It all just happened from there.
I had a few questions and apprehensions especially due to the pandemic situation, but all my concerns were addressed. I and my family also got a chance to speak with a physician who explained the procedure in detail and that it has no long-run effects to the donor’s health.
It’s quite hard to get your head around really. You wonder what it is about yourself that has the opportunity to potentially save someone’s life. The opportunity feels so incredible and when you actually step into the donation process, you realise what an amazing phone call it is to get.
I donated blood stem cells through the peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) collection. Contrary to the popular belief, the actual donation itself didn’t hurt, and it wasn’t uncomfortable – I was just laying in the bed for three-four hours.
The collection centre was very well organized, and DKMS-BMST coordinators were always very approachable and they arranged all of my travel as well.
I have to say, having done the donation, it’s really nothing in comparison to what the person who is fighting blood cancer must be going through. It’s a very small effort from my side to try to save a person’s life. You can actually help save people by signing up, as you just never know who in your family, or friends might need some help in the future and the more people are registered, the more chance everyone has of finding a match.
I hope my story can help put other potential donors at ease or raise more awareness. It is an amazing feeling to know that you’ve given someone a second chance at life– being a donor is one of the best things I’ve ever done."
How you can help
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are calling on more people to take the first step and register for a home swab kit.
If you’d like to register as a potential blood stem cell donor you can check your eligibility and sign up with us.
Anyone aged between 18-50 years and in general good health can go on standby as a potential lifesaver. If you're not eligible or you're already registered, check out some of the other ways to get involved in the fight against blood cancer!