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Newlyweds host blood stem cell recruitment drive

Sep 19, 2016

Contrary to the pomp and show, a newly-wed couple celebrated their wedding by supporting a humanitarian cause.

New Delhi: India is a country where weddings are celebrated with lots of pomp and fanfare. However, a newly-wed couple from Kozhikode in Kerala set a new example by choosing to do something different.

Aneesh and Archana Kurup expressed their desire to celebrate their wedding by doing something for patients suffering from fatal blood related disorders like Leukemia and Thalassemia. A blood stem cell recruitment drive was organised in their wedding where 143 potential blood stem cell donors were registered by DATRI, an Indian nonprofit.

DATRI Blood Stem Cell Donors Registry celebrated World Marrow Donor Day (WMDD) on 17th September across India. The purpose of the celebration was to thank the donors and highlight the global cooperation towards blood stem cell transplantation.

Last week, Delhi also witnessed the heart-warming meet of a cancer survivor and blood stem cells recipient Manju Sharma and her donor Akash Grover, wherein the former thanked the donor for giving her a second chance at life.

Raghu Rajagopal, CEO & Co- Founder of DATRI, said that someone getting a new lease of life through a stranger is very fulfilling act. “We would like to thank every donor who has donated and those who are eagerly waiting on the registry to donate. For a patient, getting a new chance at life through the selfless act of a stranger is the greatest gift. Hope of life and getting back loved ones can happen only through such kind donors,” he said.

Co-founded by Raghu Rajagopal, Dr Nezih Cereb and Dr Soo Young Yang in 2009, the vision of DATRI is to find a willing matched donor for every patient suffering from fatal blood related disorders and in need of a blood stem cell transplant.

Globally, blood stem cell donor organisations organised different events to emphasise that the number of 30 million donors is still not enough. In New Delhi, Gixxer Bikers Club in collaboration with DATRI and Jeevandayini Foundation organised a bike rally ‘Save A Life’ to mark the WMDD day.

The ride focused on blood stem cell donation awareness and registration. Gixxer Club is a group of passionate Suzuki Gixxer riders in Delhi and NCR. The group rides for different social causes particularly abiding by its principles of riding on the fundamentals of safety. All the 20 riders registered themselves as blood stem cell donors.

Similarly, in other Indian cities like Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Pune, Kolkata and Hyderabad, massive awareness and registration drives were conducted in various institutions, organisations and among medical professionals.

At present DATRI has more than 700 patients waiting for an unrelated matched donor. Infact, only one in 10, 000 to one in two million is the probability of finding an unrelated genetically matched blood stem cell donor.

There is only 25% likelihood of finding a match within the family. Hence, the possibility of giving a new lease of life to people suffering from fatal blood disorders such as Leukemia and Lymphoma could increase with the increase in number of donors.

DATRI is India’s largest adult unrelated blood stem cell donors registry with over 1, 50,000 voluntary donors registered and has facilitated 197 donations till date. DATRI works with 11 collection centers and serviced 39 transplant Centers worldwide.

DATRI is an associate of Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide (BMWD) and a member of World Marrow Donors Association (WMDA).

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