At a young age, Keerthana had to witness her grandmother fight blood cancer and she learned very early on what a terrible impact the illness makes on the patient and their family.
When DKMS-BMST held a registration drive at IIHM Bangalore, Keerthana realized that by registering she could help someone in their fight against blood cancer, so she registered herself as a potential donor. Three years later, she got the opportunity of a lifetime; to help save a patient’s life.
Keerthana shares her account of becoming a lifesaver-
“I first heard about stem cell donation during a donor registration drive held by DKMS-BMST in my college campus. After learning more about the cause, I decided to be a part of it. A stem cell donation is a simple, harmless process through which I could potentially save someone’s life, so it was an easy decision to make.
I knew how rare the chances of finding a match were, so I was very surprised that I came up as a match! It felt good to have the opportunity to help someone in need. My family supported me and they were proud that I was going to help save a life.
There wasn’t much preparing to do before the donation. I just made sure to eat properly and be healthy enough to go through with it. I started taking the GCSF injections to increase the stem cell count in my body. It happened over a course of 4 days and on the 5th day I went in for the donation.
I was a bit anxious on the day of collection, but the DKMS-BMST team were very helpful in calming my nerves. They supported me throughout the process. They maintained a friendly and peaceful environment, ensured I was comfortable and even ordered my favorite food when I was done with the donation. They were a great support system and they made this experience so much better for me.
I felt fine after the donation. There were no complications or side effects. The DKMS-BMST team called and checked up on me, even after I was back home. I felt really gratified of what I had done. It’s not everyday that you get to save someone’s life! I just hope everything works out for the recipient. I wish them the best of luck and to have a wonderful life. I hope I get the chance to meet them someday.
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 18-55 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.