I am Jhanvi Ghode from Kolhapur, Maharashtra. I am 14 years old and till a year back I would just tell people that I just want to survive. When I was three months old I was diagnosed with Thalassemia Major. We hail from a very humble background and for my parents to think of handling such a big medical ailment as this was harrowing and a heavy burden. But my parents never gave up despite the huge economical strain. They consulted so many doctors, travelled to different hospitals to for my treatment.
Soon I joined school. Despite failing health I did my level best and came out with flying colours. Many a time I had to go for treatment before my exams leaving me with little time to study. I would be distressed and anxious but that did not deter me. These obstacles would only strengthen me that I have to survive and battle it out.
Our medical expenses were mounting and my father was finding it difficult to manage. He thought of selling our house in order to fund my medical expenses. It was a chance meeting with Dr. Ruchira of SRCC Children’s Hospital, Mumbai who told us that if we find a matching blood stem cell donor I could be saved. DATRI, the largest Blood Stem Registry in India was able to find a match. After two months we were told that they have found the right match and the transplant was conducted successfully.
Till then we did not know who was my life saver. But for me he was my god. For days I would keep thinking how my donor would be, what does he or she look or where he is from. I had decided that when I get the chance to see my donor, I would fall on his feet and tell him how he is instrumental in letting me enjoy the joys of this world. On December, 2022, a meeting was arranged with the donor, Shekhar Bhonsle and for me that was the happiest moment of my life. I could not contain my joy to see my donor uncle who gave me everything. To show my love for his gesture I performed a dance number and also had bought a small gift as a token of his gesture. Shekhar Bhonsle uncle was very humble and inspired me to work hard and do well in life.
Today I say to the world, I don’t want just to survive and live but I want to live life in all its fullness”
DATRI Blood Stem Cell Donors Registry, a not-for-profit organisation, has facilitated more than 1090 Blood Stem Cell Donations to date. The journey began in the year 2009 to find unrelated matched donors for patients with leukaemia, Thalassemia or blood disorders whose life is dependent on an unrelated donor to survive. DATRI, India’s largest Blood Stem Cell Donors Registry, has more than 5,07,584 donors registered. DATRI is working towards creating a wide and diverse database of potential Blood Stem Cell Donors that can be accessed by any patient living anywhere in the world in need of a Blood Stem Cell Donation. Any healthy individual between the age of 18 years to 50 years can register as a blood stem cell donor with DATRI and potentially become a lifesaver when they’re found to be a match for a fatal blood disorder patient.
About the Author:
Jhanvi Ghode is a Thalassemia Major survivor. She underwent a blood stem cell transplant when she was just 13 years old. Today Jhanvi is a bubbly and energetic child who excels in studies and a passionate dancer.