I am Shobha
A doctor by profession, a caring daughter, sister, loving wife and a blessed mother of two young girls.
I am battling Leukemia and need immediate blood stem cell transplant to survive. Please help me by registering and providing a cheek swab.
How can you help?
- Scan QR code
- Follow instructions on the website to register online
- A swab kit will be mailed to you with instructions
- Take the cheek swab and mail it at no cost
- Sample sent to lab for testing and results added to national registry
- You will be contacted if you are a match
- Donate - process is similar to donating plasma or platelette
Don't dig a well when your house is on fire...
So goes the old adage...
Imagine the day you got a call from the pathologist's office for an urgent consultation. You are told that you have Acute Myeloid Leukemia or AML.
Your whole world has spun out of control and you are told that you are at the mercy of finding a stem cell donor match. You don't know whether you have a few days or weeks to get your life in order.
This is not an imaginary scenario, it actually happened to our friend Shobha Mahesh. She is a doctor herself and was stunned to discover this diagnosis. It was like an earthquake had rocked her whole life. As soon as she got over the shock of the mind-numbing diagnosis, she was faced with another disappointing news. Neither of her siblings was a 100% match to provide her with a stem cell donation.
Living in North America the population of South Asian donors is so small that finding is match was more difficult than finding a needle in the haystack.
Her family and friends went into overdrive to register donors for the STEM CELL registries around the world.
I figured it would be easy to find a match in India but there isn't a government-mandated DNA registry.
The average person knows so little about the matching technology of DNA matching that starting to learn about it is like digging a well when the house is on fire...
Everyone is at Risk..
It is not just a cause for Shobha Mahesh or other Leukemia patients, but every one of us is at risk of needing a stem cell donor and there doesn't seem to be a big enough database of donors worldwide. We need to volunteer it as soon as we turn 18 years old as we don't know who may need it in the future. All our AI/ML technology is useless unless we have a robust bank of donors registered. So let us build a population-size DNA donor bank.
What is considered a strong DNA match?