Over 500 students from several Mumbai-based colleges came forward and registered themselves as potential lifesavers for blood cancer and blood disorder patients.
The week-long campaign was jointly organised by two NGOs – Bangalore Medical Services Trust (BMST) and DKMS– of which is known to be one of the largest international blood stem cell donor centres in the world.
The campaign was conducted SK Somaiya college, Vidyavihar University, John Wilson Education Society’s Wilson College (NSS Unit), Ramnarain Ruia College of Arts and Science, Topiwala National Medical College and St Andrews College of Arts, Science and Commerce, among others.
All through the weekly programme, the students were provided a platform wherein they could provide a cheek swab sample and sign a consent form to become a potential stem cell donor.
According to the organisation, a donor’s swab samples are analysed for Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) – a required tissue match for a successful blood stem cell transplant. Once donors are found to be a match they are asked to donate their blood stem cells through a process similar to blood platelet donation.
Students who participated in the campaign were excited to be part of the good cause. Zishan Bhaagwan, 22, from Topiwala National Medical College said, “Even though I am in the medical stream, we keep on learning new things with such campaigns and events. I donate my blood at a local level requently, but signing up for something so rare is a precious feeling.”
Another student added, “I will appeal to all the citizens and especially youngsters to come forward and help those who need our urgent support.”