In India, every year over 1 lakh people are diagnosed with blood cancer and blood disorders such as Thalassemia and Aplastic Anemia. With the growing awareness about hematological disorders and increased access to advanced treatment, blood stem cell transplant plays an important role in the treatment of blood disorders. Still in a country like India, most people are unaware that blood cancer can be treated with a blood stem cell transplant from an HLA-matched donor.
To address the burden of blood cancer in India and how people can be a part of the solution to this issue, recently a YouTuber Abhi and Niyu, who runs an Indian educational YouTube channel shared an informative video explaining how a person’s ‘SPIT’ can help in deleting blood cancer from India. The video talks about the need of registering as a blood stem cell donor to help patients like Vipul in India. The video reached out to over 2 million people, with more than 25 thousand people registered as potential blood stem cell donors.
With over lakhs of patients looking for a stem cell match, Vipul, a 29-year-old youth from Mumbai who is diagnosed with ‘Myelofibrosis’a rare form of bone marrow cancer is also looking for a matching blood stem cell donor to undergo stem cell transplantation, as soon as possible.Vipul is a happy-go-lucky person and wants to pursue his career in computer applications; he loves adventure sports and lives life to the fullest. But everything came to a standstill when he was diagnosed with Myelofibrosis in March 2021.
“Vipul’s condition is critical and a stem cell transplant from a matching donor is his only chance at survival. Patients and donors of Indian origin have unique HLA characteristics that are severely under-represented in the global database, which makes the probability of finding a suitable donor even more difficult. This increases the need for more people of Indian ethnicity to register as a potential blood stem cell donor and join the the global donor pool to help save patients like Vipul” says Patrick Paul, CEO, DKMS BMST Foundation India.
The number of social media users in India has been growing in 2021 at a steady rate of 448 million and has now become a significant part of the society. In increasing numbers, campaigns and initiatives on social media are seeing tremendous support these days. To help improve the condition of blood cancer patients in India, DKMS-BMST is making a great use of social media for coordinating the search for blood stem cell donors for patients suffering from blood cancer in the country. It is one in a million chance that someone comes as a match for a patient!
Additionally, DKMS-BMST has also collaborated with celebrities and influencers across the country with the aim to spread the message about how a simple cheek swab can save the life of a blood cancer patient who needs a stem cell transplant to survive-especially if you are an Indian.