After representing India for over 13 years, former cricketer Suresh Raina known for his aggressive batting and excellent fielding skills has come forward to raise awareness about the growing burden of blood cancer in India. He has joined hands with DKMS BMST Foundation India, a non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against blood cancer and other blood disorders such as Thalassemia and Aplastic Anemia.
India ranks third highest in reported cases of hematological cancers in the world with over 70 thousand people deaths per year and over 1 lakh people are diagnosed with a form of blood cancer or blood disorders. But these patients can get a second chance at life through a stem cell transplant.
After renowned celebrities like Vidya Balan, Rahul Dravid, and Sonu Sood, renowned cricketer Suresh Raina has shared a video appeal to raise awareness about the cause.
In his video appeal, Suresh Raina has emphasized on the blood cancer burden in India that every 5 minutes someone is diagnosed with the condition. And most of the patients are young patients or children who fight these life-threatening diseases. Giving example of his personal experience Suresh Raina has talked about how he has learned to face challenges however, there is no greater challenge that one a family has to face when their loved one is diagnosed with a form of blood cancer.
Patrick Paul, CEO, DKMS-BMST said, “a true sportsperson never hesitates to come forward and help others, this has been proved by Mr. Suresh Raina, his sportsmanship is commendable. Many patients suffering from blood cancer and other blood disorders need a blood stem cell transplant to survive. Unfortunately, majority of patients are unable to receive a transplant due to the unavailability of a matching blood stem cell donor.”
This situation can only be changed when more and more people from different ethnicities in India are a part of the donor registry maintained by NGOs like DKMS-BMST. This can be done with a simple step of registering as a blood stem cell donor and give these patients a second chance at life.
Only about 30% of the patients in need of a blood stem cell transplant can find a sibling match. The rest 70% depend on finding a matching unrelated donor. Due to the lack of awareness about the treatment possibilities in India, it becomes difficult for Indian patients to find a matching blood stem cell donor.
The registration process:
If you’re between the age-group of 18 – 50 and in general good health, take the first step to register as a blood stem cell donor by ordering your home swab kit at www.dkms-bmst.org/register.
All it takes is five minutes of your time and a simple 3 step process:
Step 1: Visit the site, fill up an online form and you will receive a DIY swab kit at home.
Step 2: Once you receive the swab kit, fill out the consent form and take a tissue sample from the inside of your cheeks with 3 cotton swabs provided in the kit.
Step 3: Send back your swab sample in the pre-paid envelope provided.
DKMS laboratory will then analyze your tissue type and your details will be available in the global search for blood stem cell donors. If you do come up as a suitable donor, DKMS-BMST will get in touch with you straight away. Once you come up as a match, blood stem cells will be obtained from the bloodstream using a procedure called Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Collection, which is similar to a blood donation wherein only your stem cells are taken. This is a safe, non-surgical outpatient procedure.