Story #39 of 50 days, 50 Stories Campaign
I was in the second year of medical college when I got to know about blood stem cell donation. I was impressed by the talk of Dr. Neeraj, whom I admire and who clearly explained the entire process. The day also coincided with my father’s birthday so, to make it a special one, I decided to register myself with DATRI. The hall was filled with medical students, health-care professionals, para-medical students, etc. but, quite surprisingly, very few came forward to register themselves.
Oddly enough, none of my friends registered for reasons that, they were scared and not sure of the benefits of the donation. Ever since that day, I have been hoping to donate if I was a match for someone. The words “it is one in over a million match” continued to echo in my ears. This got me thinking that donors must be special people whom God chooses to do this noble deed. The day I registered with DATRI is still fresh in my memory. I preserved the donor registration card in my wallet with the thought that, ‘I will wait and watch if God would really choose me.’Years went by, I completed my MBBS and was midway through my final year holiday when I got a call from DATRI.
I was informed, I had been a match for a patient and that, they want to check and know if I would be willing to donate my Blood Stem Cells. I jumped with joy, took out my registration card, and thanked God for having chosen me. Post the news of my match, convincing my parents were tough. However, no one could stop my determination and decision to save someone’s life. I gladly underwent the process, the day before my official MBBS graduation. I was surrounded by worried well-wishers. Thanks to Mr.Deepu from DATRI, Kochi, for comforting me and helping me go through the process with ease. It was a simple and soulful process. I am really grateful for all the scientific innovations in the field of medicine, which make such miracles possible.
During the procedure, I was a little worried if my cell counts would be adequate for a successful donation. But soon, I was informed that it is higher than adequate. On my graduation day, I was ecstatic and joyful that I was blessed to begin my career with this act. More than the medals I received on my graduation day, wishes on my Blood Stem Cell donation meant a lot more to me. I came to know that, I was the first lady from Kerala to donate peripheral blood stem cells. Soon all other doctors celebrated my donation because I happen to be the first doctor in Kerala to have done so.
I would be happiest if my act of donation inspires even if one person, who decides to come forward and donate his/ her blood stem cells. As a medical professional I realize that, between birth and death, life is full of possibilities. Hence when a human is gifted enough to make such miracles possible he/she should definitely be bold enough to gift life as a donor.
Being a man or a woman is only a question of the proportion of hormones, at the end of the day, we are all humans. So any reservation for women donors from a mental, social, or medical perspective is not healthy. Women should not hold themselves back when such opportunities knock on their doors. I have pledged to spread awareness all my life to make less fortunate beautiful beings bear a smile on their faces with pride.
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