Five day blood stem donation camp receives huge response

Five day blood stem donation camp receives huge response
Five day blood stem donation camp receives huge response

PANAJI: DATRI, India’s largest adult unrelated blood stem donor registry organised a mega five-day camp at Resort Rio, Arpora, Bardez. The camp hosted by the Anup and Alpa Shah Foundation received an overwhelming response wherein 701 volunteer donors registered to help save a three-year-old Veer Shah and other similar patients with blood cancer or children with thalassemia. Alpa Shah, owner of the resort organised this camp along with DATRI to help find match for Veer Shah, who is fighting with a rare blood disorder. His bone marrow is not functioning and his only hope of survival is to get a bone marrow transplant from a matched donor. His family is desperately looking for that one donor who could donate their blood stem cell to save his life. Speaking on the success of the camp, Alpa Shah, owner of Resort Rio said that people from Goa gave their wholehearted support and registered as volunteer blood stem cell donors. The overwhelming response received during the first two days, encouraged us to extent the camp for three more days. Unfortunately minorities including people of Indian origin were grossly under represented. A match is more likely to be found from people with similar ethnicity.

According to Shah, the main barrier for this in India is lack of information and resources. A major shortage of blood stem donors means less chance of finding a suitable donor. Greater the number of blood stem cell donors, the larger the chances of survival. One day it could even be you, your family, your children, relatives and friends who might need a match and cure for this. So it’s not just the giving but also the receiving if and when in need as all your details will be stored in the National Donor Register. If a match is found from anyone who registered in the five-day swab drive at Resort Rio and other areas in Goa, all expenses for travel to other parts of India by the donor, accommodation, etc will be taken care of by ‘Anup and Alpa Shah Foundation’. Shah has hoped that Veer and many more patients suffering with fatal blood disorders are able to find a matched donor from these 701 volunteers who registered in the last five days. She further said, “The only hope of survival for such patients is a blood stem cell transplant. For patients who are unable to find a match within their family there is no hope, it is only with help of registries like DATRI that give a ray of hope for such patients.” There are only 813 donors registered with DATRI as potential blood stem cell donors from Goa, a State having 15 lakh population. This definitely calls for more awareness in the State about the importance of saving lives through blood stem cell donation for blood cancer patients. There were only a little more than four lakh blood stem cell donors registered with DATRI as of today, which was less than 0.33 per cent of the total population of India.

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