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06 Sep 2017 22 Comments

Chennai’s hunt for stem cells

In the recent past, Chennai has a rich history of uniting for several good causes. Now, Chennai’s heart beats and unites for a young 27-year-old athlete Blumen Sathya, who is desperately hunting for a matching stem cell donor to win his battle against cancer.

Blumen, a graduate from Madras Christian College and a gifted sprinter was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia in Dec 2014. Blumen was a healthy and exceptional track event athlete with a national level gold medal in 400m sprint. Suddenly, the drop in his blood count made Blumen probe over his health status. The devastating blow awaited him in the form of a diagnosis of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia(CML).

CML is a dangerous bone marrow cancer that affects the blood forming cells. The only optimism about the condition is, it is treatable. The treatment commences with a course of oral chemotherapy, followed by induction based chemotherapy sessions. However, the most effective and the proven of the entire protocol is the stem cell transplant.

Despite the promising facet of prognosis with stem cell transplant, the challenge is to acquire a matching unit of donor stem cell. Blumen and his folks have been hunting frantically to find a matching sample suitable for him. But the probability of finding a match is highly remote as one in a lakh, making the chance of treatment awfully scarce for Blumen. Numerous international registries have also been contacted. Some registries have suggested the patients should not contact them directly and the search should be channelized only through hospitals or stem cell banks from India.

Such unnecessary delay in treatment and herculean chase could be easily avoided if parents make a wise decision of preserving their baby’s umbilical cord stem cells at birth. Now, with the onset of community stem cell banking in India, parents can gain access to not just their baby’s preserved stem cells but also share the stem cell units from others in the community.  Thereby as a family,  you can gain access to stem cells for all conditions treatable by stem cells. If the need for stem cells arises for any member of the family, including both maternal and paternal grandparents, the community bank that you are a part of is designed to offer 100% protection of stem cells.

In Blumen’s case, his friends from school and college have initiated a signature campaign to raise awareness on stem cell donation. As always, Chennai is all game to drive this campaign forward to create awareness among the mass, to step forward and donate their stem cells for this youngster.

Meanwhile, Blumen’s sister and friends are also working hard for the cause of promoting awareness about cancer and stem cells. Their call is to convey to the public about the goodwill of donating stem cells. They are also running campaigns to raise funds for his treatment.

During the birth of a child, if the parents bank their child's cord blood at a reputed stem cell bank like LifeCell, they will have the opportunity to offset the treatment expenses using financial assistance providing by the bank. In Blumen’s case, philanthropic volunteers have budded with much efforts to financially support his treatment.

Blumen’s story is a real caution for every expectant parent, as it makes us aware of 3 important truths:

  1. You might never have a history of any cancer in your family but fate might strike anybody, at any time in an ugly fashion. Thus, taking a proactive step of preserving your baby’s umbilical cord stem cells at birth can salvage your family from a lot of hardships.

  1. Preserving your baby’s stem cells can prevent your cumbersome search for finding a matching stem cell unit during need. The search may delay the progress of your treatment considerably and waste your golden hours.

  1. Making the right choice of preserving your baby’s stem cells at the right model of stem cell bank such as community bank can offer you the following benefits, which cannot be availed, if you’ve missed this simple exercise.

  • Protection for your entire family

  • Access to both your baby's’ stem cells and stem cells from others

  • 100% protection of all conditions treatable by stem cells

  • Financial assistance for the treatment during crisis

  • Unlimited number of retrievals for subsequent transplants

​If any of you would like to donate your bone marrow stem cells or like to extend your monetary help to Blumen Sathyan's family for the treatment, you can get in touch with them through the contact details mentioned below:

Sathyan(Father) - 9282170640 
Blumen - 9941297221

 

 

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