DKMS BMST Foundation India, a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting against blood cancer, on 10 January organized a blood stem cell donor registration drive at Acharya Institute of Technology, Bengaluru (AIT). More than 300 students including NSS students registered themselves as potential lifesavers at the drive organized by the department of MBA, in association with NSS, AIT.
Over the next two years, DKMS BMST Foundation India and Acharya Institute of Technology will work closely together to help blood cancer patients by registering more potential stem cell donors and raising awareness about this cause.
DKMS BMST Foundation India is a non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against blood cancer and other blood disorders, such as thalassemia and aplastic anemia. DKMS-BMST is a joint venture of Bangalore Medical Services Trust and DKMS, an international blood stem cell donor center.
Every five minutes, someone in India is diagnosed with blood cancer, or blood disorders such as thalassemia or aplastic anemia, which is becoming a major public health challenge in our country. A blood stem cell transplant from an HLA-matched donor is an effective treatment for the long-term management of the disease and for improving the quality of life of the patient. However, 70% of the patients are unable to receive a transplant due to the unavailability of a matching blood stem cell donor from within their family and are dependent on an unrelated HLA-matched donor.
With very few individuals signing up as potential blood stem cell donors, the probability of finding an HLA-matching donor is extremely difficult in most cases. It is important that more and more people of Indian ethnicity come forward and register as potential stem cell donors.
Patrick Paul, CEO, of DKMS BMST Foundation India, said, “Often a blood stem cell transplant from a matching stem cell donor is the only chance at survival for blood cancer and blood disorder such as thalassemia and aplastic anemia patients. A successful blood stem cell transplant needs a perfect HLA tissue match. Every year, more than 1 lakh people are diagnosed with such life-threatening diseases in India, and with the increasing burden, more and more Indian patients are looking for matching stem cell donors. We aim to raise awareness about blood stem cell donation through this association with AIT. we hope that the student community will further strengthen our mission and help save more lives.”
Dr. Rajath Hegde M M Principal, Acharya Institute of Technology (AIT), said, “Today’s younger generation has huge potential and a great zeal to empower and encourage others to contribute to a noble cause. After all, saving a life is as important as giving a new life. We as an institution are so proud to be a part of this cause and will continue to help raise awareness amongst the public to come forward and register as a stem cell donor”.
Marigowda, vice-principal, Acharya Institute of Technology (AIT) said they support the foundation in all possible ways. “We are inspired by their mission of giving a second chance at life to blood cancer patients and we hope that our association can help many more patients in their fight against such life-threatening diseases.”
The blood cancer awareness program and donor registration drive were organized by Juin Choudhury, HOD-MBA, and coordinated by Nijaguna G, Monica M, assistant professor, Prashanth KP, NSS officer, Channakeshava and Sanman, NSS coordinators.
One of the students said “I am feeling extremely happy, and proud of the fact that I have registered as a potential stem cell donor by a simple process of giving my swab samples. I am also delighted that so many students have come forward and registered for this worthy cause.”
Interested citizens between 18-55 age-group can register at: dkms-bmst.org/register