Story #44 of 50 days, 50 Stories Campaign

One can donate Blood Stem Cells in two ways; Via Bone Marrow Donation and Via Peripheral Blood Stem Cells Donation (PBSC). In most cases, a PBSC donation is preferred and very rarely Bone Marrow Donation is an option. It’s completely a donor’s choice to opt for the method. Anuroop come forward for Bone Marrow Donation as it was more preferred for the recipient than collection stem cells through PBSC donation.

Anuroop registered as a Potential Blood Stem Cell Donor in a donor drive organized by National Service Scheme in his College on World Cancer Day in 2017. He registered from Viswajyothi College of Engineering and Technology, Vazhakulam, Kerala.

“Anuroop became a match to a kid in 2019 and donated his Bone Marrow. He is the 5th unrelated Bone Marrow Donor for his state. It’s someone’s final hope to flight back to life, I should definitely consider that. He is my blood brother now and I did my responsibility.” – says Anuroop.

I met Anuroop for collecting his samples for Verification of his match. Little did I know about him was he opted to donate stem cells via Bone Marrow Donation as for his 4 year old recipient, it was preferred. Most of the time the donation request will be by default for Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Donation, which is just like a Blood Platelet Donation. Very rarely doctors prioritise for Bone Marrow Donation over PBSC Donation. Its completely donor’s decision to choose from the 2 options. Before confirming his decision for Bone Marrow Donation he did speak to few of previous Bone Marrow Donors and read through their experience which given him confident to go ahead. After the Match Verification, Anuroop went to Chennai with his Father for his Master Health Check. Donor Master Health Check-Up and Donation happened in Apollo Hospital, Chennai.

For Bone Marrow Donation, the donor will receive general anesthesia and feel no pain during the donation. The doctor will collect the stem cells using a needle to withdraw liquid marrow from the back of the pelvic bone via two small punctures. Donors can leave the hospital on the next day of donation.

During my second meeting with Anuroop at his college campus for a post-donation follow-up after a couple of weeks of his donation. I was excited to hear from him about the real donation experience and slightly concerned for him if he still feels any discomfort at his pelvic bones. He was so happy and shared that he feels completely fine and even went for a pilgrimage to Malayattoor (In Kerala).  People wildly exaggerated blood stem cell donation, especially bone marrow donation—as something complicated and painful. Stories like Anuroop are a real motivation and reality check for future donors.

Anuroop met his 4 yes old recipient, his blood brother Vihaan in 2020. The little boy is completely cured of Thalassemia through Anuroop’s kind act.

About DATRI:

DATRI is a Not-for-Profit organization founded in 2009 with a mission to save lives of those suffering from life-threatening Fatal blood disorders like Blood Cancer, Thalassemia, Leukemia, Aplastic Anemia, Sickle Cell Anaemia, etc.

DATRI is registered with the Government of India as a Section 8 organization, and all monetary contributions towards DATRI are subject to 80G exemptions


About the Author:

Athulya Krishna is a Psychology enthusiast and Social Worker started volunteering with DATRI since 2015. She is now holding the role as a “Senior Associate – Donor Recruitment and Counseling” for Kerala. Being a Computer Science Graduate, Athulya was least intrested for a career in IT and finds passion in touching human lives. She is actively involved with creating awareness for Chronic Invisible Illnesses and Arthritis finds so connected with DATRI’s cause in finding someone’s final hope.