Rarely, life offers us a second chance. In this instance, a 27-year-old took it upon himself to give someone a second chance at life.
Kevin, a young management professional from Mumbai, registered to be a stem cell donor and to his amazement, he turned out to be a perfect match to a patient suffering from blood cancer, only a year after registering.
He shares his experience, hoping to inspire more people to come forward and register to be potential blood stem cell donors.
“My sister registered me, during a college drive conducted by DKMS-BMST. She explained to me the importance of donating your stem cells and how it can give a patient suffering from blood cancer or a blood disorder, a second chance at life. I didn’t think twice before asking her to sign me up, but little did I know that in only one year, I would be getting the opportunity of a lifetime; to try and save another person’s life.
I was thrilled to receive a call from the DKMS-BMST notifying me about becoming a match for a blood cancer patient that needed an immediate blood stem cell transplant. It felt like a duty towards a fellow human. Giving someone a shot at life at the expense of few days of my discomfort seemed like a no-brainer to me. I received a lot of support from my family as well, although they were slightly worried about the side effects of the donation.
I had a few concerns, as anybody would, before going in for the donation. The doctors were extremely reassuring, so all concerns or questions I had were laid to rest right away. I was told it’s similar to blood donation, albeit with a few additional injections. I took extra care of my health in the days leading up to my donation because I didn’t want to cause any sort of delay due to negligence on my part.
The actual donation process was surreal. The medical team and DKMS-BMST team took very good care of me. I was given basic details about the recipient, and knowing even these minor details made me feel much happier about the entire experience. The only thought on my mind was that only Step 1 was completed and now all we can do is hope that Step 2, which is the blood stem cell transplant, is equally successful.
The process went on smoothly and apart from feeling slightly fatigued on the day of the donation, I didn’t experience any sort of pain or discomfort. I was back to normal the following day. The feeling of fulfilment you experience from knowing you’re potentially saving a life, is far greater than any discomfort you may go through in the process.
Message to others
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 at dkms-bmts.org/register
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.