We’re all aware of what cancer is, but it’s hard to fully understand the intensity of it unless you or your loved ones are affected by it.
For 24-year-old Basudha, her life changed when her father was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. After an incredibly brave and long fight, he tragically lost his life to the disease. When Basudha heard of stem cell transplants and how they can help blood cancer patients, she decided to register to become a blood stem cell donor, in honour of her father. She registered in July 2020, and a year later, she got the opportunity to become a lifesaver.
She shares her experience, hoping to inspire more people to come forward and register to be potential blood stem cell donors.
After a thorough physical examination, the donation schedule was finalized and I travelled to Bengaluru to donate my blood stem cells. I was a bit nervous initially but all my worry seemed insignificant thinking about the patient and the terrible condition she was in. My family was extremely supportive throughout the process and I felt really good knowing I was able to inspire some of my friends to register themselves as potential donors as well.
Finally, I donated my blood stem cells through the Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Collection (PBSC) process. It was a simple process just like blood platelet donation and the medical staff at the collection centre along with DKMS-BMST coordinators supported me throughout. Everything went smoothly, without any hiccups. During the process of drawing blood, several jabs had to be made and all I could think about at the time was how my father had to be jabbed, pricked, checked several times and had to undergo radiation, chemotherapy and numerous other things throughout his treatment. I couldn’t imagine how difficult it must have been for him and despite everything, he didn’t make it. All I could hope for is that the person receiving my blood stem cells goes on to live a happy and healthy life. I was rooting for her.
After the donation was complete, I was really happy that everything went smoothly and I felt at peace. It was a great feeling knowing I had done something that could potentially save a life. I wanted to know more about the patient from the very first moment that I heard I was a match for her, so I hope I get to meet her someday. Until then, I wish her the best of health and happiness!
I registered as a blood stem cell donor because I wanted to help out in some way. From my personal experience with my father, I know that life-threatening diseases like blood cancer are not only challenging for a patient but for their entire family, so when I got a chance to help a patient get better, I took it, because “You never know if you or a loved one will be in the same situation someday, so always lend a helping hand when it’s possible. I hope my experience persuades some of you to register as blood stem cell donors. You never know who might need your help out there.”
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 today.
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.