Mandeep an IT professional from Bengaluru registered as a blood stem cell donor in 2018 during one of the donor drives in his office. A year later, he received the call to say he had been matched with a blood cancer patient. Here, Mandeep tells us about his donor journey...
"It was one normal day at my office when I saw a poster of DKMS-BMST and that there is a possibility to help blood cancer patients. I went to the registration drive to understand the process. At first, I could not believe, have been a blood donor for a long time but a realization that a probable chance of getting a match is rare and this is the only hope for someone. I felt it was my duty to go ahead with this. It seemed such a worthwhile thing to do so I signed up and gave my swab samples."
"I have seen my wife battling metastatic breast cancer so I can understand what a family goes through if a loved one is suffering."
I got a call to donate my blood stem cells
"After almost a year of registration, I received a call saying that I have come as a match for a blood cancer patient. I was told about the urgency of the case and how important it is for me to donate my blood stem cells and give someone a second chance at life.
Initially, I was quite surprised and nervous too. I had concerns about the possible side effects and if they were long term. Being the only earning member of the family since my wife had to quit work post her relapse, I was concerned about not becoming another patient in the house!"
"But DKMS-BMST coordinators explained everything to me; I even spoke with other donors who shared their donation experience. I consulted a physician to understand the medical aspects of the process. Finally, I was satisfied and convinced. My family especially my wife supported me since the beginning."
"My blood stem cells were taken through the PBSC method, I was attached to a machine which drew the blood out of one arm, filtered and collected the stem cells, and returned the rest of my blood into my other arm. The whole process took about around 4 hours.
The procedure was very smooth and I did not experience any discomfort during the 3 hours it lasted except for a little back pain because of sitting in one place.
I rested till evening and was fit enough to go out with friends for dinner."
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 or blood disorders.