Orange your life to support the cause this World Cancer Day

DATRI, India’s largest registry of voluntary blood stem cell donors along with Narayana Health and BGS Hospital today launches‘Get, Set Go Orange!’, a nation wideblood stem cell donor drive at the Chancery Pavilion, Bangalore.

The drive aims to educate and increase awareness on Peripheral Blood Stem Cell transplant (PBSC) and its ability to cureblood cancer.To kick start
the nationwide, driveDATRI releaseda 28 page booklet busting the mythsassociated with blood stem cell donation process. The organisation will run a month long drive across the country to educate people and encourage them to voluntarily come forward and support the cause.

Leukemia is one of the common types of cancer in India and around the world.  Over 100,000 people are diagnosed with Leukemia and other blood disorders, every year in India. According to a latest study these numbers are projected to nearly double by 2035.As per the latest report by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), by this year end, the number of cases is estimated to reach 117,649 and the number of cases is projected to touch 132,574 by 2020.  However, the good news is that many of these could benefit from a peripheral blood stem cell transplant, from a matched donor.

The drive will have the gracious presence ofDr. Sunil Bhat, Pediatric Haemato-Oncologist, Narayana Health Bangalore   and Dr. SachinJadhav, Consultant Haematologist and BMT Physician, BGS Global Hospital who are supporting the cause, along with Mr.Raghu Rajagopal, Co-Founder & CEO of DATRI.

PBSC Transplants are done from a healthy donor whose HLA type matches with that of the patient. However, there is only 25 per cent chance of finding a match within the family. Many patients do not find a match in the family. In such cases there is an urgent need to find an ‘unrelated donor’ or a cord blood unit through the public registries. With very few registered donors available in India, the possibility of finding a match for an Indian anywhere in the world is low.

DATRIBlood Stem Cell Donors Registry is working towards creating a wide and diverse database of potential donors that can be accessed by any patient, living anywhere in the world, in need of a blood stem cell transplant.

PBSC transplant is successfully used in the world over to cure cases of leukemia, aplastic anemia, thalassemia, and many other fatal blood disorders.

“The awareness about peripheral blood stem cell transplant is low in India and the number of registered donors is not significant at all, despite our country being home to 1.2 billion.There is an urgent need to increase the number of voluntary blood stem cell donors so we can give a fighting chance to many patients.  I urge people to come forward and join this cause.Till date, most of our successful unrelated blood stem cell transplantshave been possible due to DATRI’s continuous support“saidDr.Sunil Bhat, Pediatric HaematoOncologist,Narayana Health, Bangalore.

On the occasion, Dr.SachinJadhav said “With the rapid rise in the incidence of blood cancer and other blood disorders, and a decrease in availability of matched donors in the family, due to single children families and complex gene pools, we as transplant physicians are becoming more and more dependent on unrelated donors to carry out the curative blood stem cell transplant. Thanks to registries like DATRI, weatleast have a registry to go to, for Indian donors.”

Speaking at the event, Raghu Rajagopal of DATRI said, “With the launch of this drive, we encourage more people to come forward and take the first step in saving a life by joining the registry.  Each one of us has the possibility of saving a life. It is very encouraging to see that 70,000 people have already joined our Blood Stem Cell  Donors registry  and 82 of these  have matched with patients in need and saved their lives by donating their blood stem cells.  We hope that we will be able to make a difference to many more lives and at the very least find a matched donor  for the over 1000 patients who have reached out to us and are still looking for a match. We expect to achieve this by increasing the awareness and encouraging more people to join this life saving cause”

About DATRI:

DATRI is a non – governmental organisation, with pan India operations,  set up in the year 2009, with an aim to save lives of people who are suffering from life threatening diseases like leukemia, lymphoma, etc, anywhere across the globe, by providing them an opportunity to find a genetically matched donor. It was co- founded by, Dr NezihCereb,Dr Soo Young Yang and Raghu Rajagopal. .DATRI has successfully created the largest  functionaldatabase of 70,000 voluntary donors  from diverse ethnic backgrounds and has so far facilitated 82 donations, of which 6 have been for patients being treated overseas.

DATRI has tied-up with 11hospitals  across the country for facilitating the donation and  has serviced  22 transplant centres across India and six transplant centers overseas.  Currently, DATRI has over 1021 patients still looking for a match, and gets atleast40 new requests from patients looking for a matched donor.

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