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DKMS BMST Foundation India leads the fight against blood cancer.

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India is reeling under a huge burden of blood cancer and rare blood diseases such as Thalassemia and Aplastic Anemia. DKMS BMST Foundation India aims to support and help the patients to fight such diseases. Every year, over 1 lakh people are diagnosed with such diseases and a blood stem cell transplant is often the only treatment option for them. Only about 30% of the patients in need of a stem cell transplant as lifesaving treatment can find a sibling match. The rest 70% depend on finding a matching unrelated donor. This makes it vital for people to register as potential blood stem cell donors.

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In 2019, Fezal, an Indian Army man, a resident of Rajasthan, registered as a blood stem cell donor with DKMS BMST Foundation India, a non-profit organization working with a mission of providing a second chance at life to blood cancer patients. His family has been serving in the Indian Army since past 2 generations. He registered at a donor registration drive organized by the foundation during his training and came up as a match for a patient in September 2021.

Fezal is not only a passionate Army personnel, but also a compassionate human being. He was posted at the India-Pakistan borders when he came as a match for a patient in need. He showed his commitment and traveled from far-off region from his posting via different transport mediums for about six days that even included 60 Kms walk and he finally traveled to Bangalore to donate his blood stem cells.

Patrick Paul, CEO, DKMS-BMST said, “Fezal’s altruism can’t be described in words. His overall journey is an inspiration for all of us, he took all the efforts to save the life of a stranger. It gives us immense pride in saying that Fezal is our fourth Army donor, we are grateful to Indian Army for giving us necessary permissions to carry out the blood stem cell donation process in a hassle-free manner.”

Speaking about his experience Fezal said, “When I received the call that I have come as a match for a patient, I was overwhelmed. Without a second thought, I agreed to donate my blood stem cells to the patient in need.”  Fezal donated his blood stem cells through the PBSC (peripheral blood stem cell) method, a process similar to blood platelet donation. Peripheral blood stem cell collection is a safe and non-surgical outpatient process.

Just like Fezal, any healthy individual between the age of 18-50 can register using the online registration link www.dkms-bmst.org/register. Finding a matching blood stem cell donor is a one in a million chance for a patient. Thousands of Indian patients are still waiting for a lifesaving stem cell transplant and one step of an individual can save someone’s life and give them a second chance to live.

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