Fezal, a young Indian Army man puts his life on the line everyday by fighting for the people of the country, however, He’s now gone one step ahead, by donating his blood stem cells to potentially save a blood cancer patient’s life.
22-year-old Fezal registered as a potential blood stem cell donor with DKMS-BMST in 2019. Only 2 years later, in September 2021, he came up as a match to a patient who was suffering from blood cancer and needed an immediate stem cell transplant. Without a moment’s hesitation, he set out on a strenuous journey, travelling from the remote location where he was posted, for six days continuously, which even included a 60km walk, until he finally travelled to Bangalore to donate his blood stem cells.
He shares his journey of being a blood stem cell donor:
“I come from a small town in Rajasthan, where I have a wife and young daughter. Born into a family with a long line of Army men, I’m extremely proud that I get to serve my country and follow in the footsteps of my elders.
After a long journey of six days, I reached Bangalore and I was ready to be a lifesaver! I donated my blood stem cells through the PBSC (peripheral blood stem cell) method, a process similar to blood platelet donation, which is a safe and non-surgical outpatient process. With the assistance of the medical team, everything went smoothly. I didn’t experience any pain or discomfort at any point and within a couple of hours, I was back on my feet and ready to go about my day.
It takes minimal effort for healthy people like us to donate our blood stem cells, but for the patient, it could be life-changing or at least give them a fighting chance at a better life. I hope my story inspires some of you to register as potential donors. You never know who might need your help someday!”
Just like Fezal, any healthy individual between the age of 18-50 can register. Finding a matching blood stem cell donor is a one in a million chance for a patient. Thousands of Indian patients are still waiting for a lifesaving stem cell transplant and your one step can save someone's life and give them a second chance to live.
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.