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Some Reflections
  • Donor
  • Beneficiaries
  • Bone Marrow Transplant Physician

"Eeththuvakkum Inbam Ariyaarkol Thaamudaimai
Vaiththizhakkum Vanka Navar"

Meaning: Unaware of the Joys of giving, the hard – hearted, waste their wealth hoarding it.

Most of us have given something to someone, whether it is through giving our time to listen to someone who just needs to be heard or by donating monetarily. For years I have been donating blood and I was aware that it would help some and this became a habit for me.

As a result of my new found happiness through donating, I wanted to give more and I saw that opportunity in the same place, where I used to donate blood. Yes, Jeevan’s BE THE CURE.I have been associated with Jeevan Blood Bank for more than six years now. While I was working in an organization, I got enrolled as a donor in their registry.

As a result of my new found happiness through donating, I wanted to give more and I saw that opportunity in the same place, where I used to donate blood. Yes, Jeevan’s BE THE CURE.I have been associated with Jeevan Blood Bank for more than six years now. While I was working in an organization, I got enrolled as a donor in their registry.

Be the Cure isawell-known stem cell registry in Chennai. Of course, my knowledge of stem cell donation was very less, and thanks to Dr. Saranya she helped me to educate myself.Initially,I was skeptical as she was explaining the procedure with utmost honesty and transparency.

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She saidStem cell donation is more commonly donated via Peripheral Blood Stem Cell (PBSC), just like giving blood for 4–5 hours. Blood is drawn out of an injection site and then goes through a process which separates the stem cells from the blood. The stem cells are harvested and the remaining blood is passed back into the body via another injection site.

These injection sites typically being one in each arm.But, before the donation, there is a detailed process of developing / growing the stem cells in the body which is painful and one can experience discomfort.

My Donation

Upon learning about the registry, I decided to do some research about the process and the effects of it on the recipient and self. The reason stem cell donations are neededis because, this is typically the last resort for someone with a blood-related disease such as Blood Cancer. These are people who have tried everything and lost hope in life.

The donation is a chance at survival, a final one.A match is fairly rare and hard to come by. Once you have registered, your medical report will be kept on the file for years until a possible match is made and they will contact you asking if you are willing to proceed. In my experience, from initial registration to matching it took approximatelythree Years!

There were a series of blood teststo analyze and ensure that I was the most suitable match for the recipient awaiting stem cells. A little over 2–3 weeks had passed, and I got confirmation that I was chosen as the best match to donate! Exciting! I was nervous! Fear grew in me … I wasn’t scared of needles, instead and somewhat selfishly, I started to over think and delve into the time it will take from my work and my personal life and at this point, the only people who knew about my donation were my immediate family members.

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Fear and anxiety grew up… But the following words from‘MarkandeyaPurana’ had always helped me to get back to reality. These stanzas are a small part of this epic - sung by Queen Madalasa famously known as “THE MADALASA UPADESH” – A Mother Singing Lullaby to her Son about self(Sanskrit Version).

"yanam chitta utatragataschadeho
dehopi chanyah purushoni vishthah|
mamat vamu royanaya thatathasmin
dehetima trambat amudha rausha|"

Meaning: The Elements [that make this body] grow with accumulation of more elements or reduce in size if some elements are taken away. This is what is seen in a body’s growing in size or becoming lean depending upon the consumption of food, water etc. You do not have growth or decay.

"bhutani bhutai hparidurbalani
vriddhim samayatiyathe hapumsah|
annambu panadibhi revatasmat
natestivriddhirna cha testihanih||"

Meaning: The vehicle that moves on the ground is different from the person in it – similarly, this body is also different from the person who is inside! The owner of the body is different from the body! Ah how foolish it is to think I am the body!

You could relate this with afore mentioned Thirukkural. These inspiring quotes andthoughts helped me overcome the fear and made me think “I’m doing a right thing, I realized, that I am just sharing my vehicle to get someone to travel further from where they thought their journey would end.

If I had let my fear take control, I might have backed out, and if my recipient had no backup, then there was a great chance she wouldn’t have survived. I almost avoided all negative comments from others which couldruin my chance to save someone's life.

After careful consideration, I carried on with the rest of the donation process. This included a day trip to Hospital where I went through about hour or two of general medical analysis to assure I was healthy and fit enough to donate. Once the Doctors confirmed, that I was fit enough to donate, I received injections of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) over the next five days.

During and after the injections I went through minor pain in the bones and particularly in my rib cage, lower back and pelvis due to the increased growth rate of stem cells. A week after the initial G-CSF injection, the donation process started in the Hospital. It took 4 to 5hrs for me to supply the required stem cells to the recipient. My solace and a huge sense of achievement was that I could help someone relive their dreams again.

Save a Life! Register today

On my discussion with Dr. Saranya and Dr. Srinivasan, I heard some beautiful stories, also some horrendous and heartbreaking ones. One that stuck methe most was that of a woman, who had matched with four registered potential donors - Imagine the hope she felt, this could save her life.This was her last chance at survival.
Then without warning, they all (all the four) pulled out before or after the blood tests. She sadly passed away several months later. Don’t you think and feel she had a chance to live.
I can appreciate and understand the inconvenience and the fear of donating, but if you do it — you’re doing something amazing! You’re not just helping theperson you could change the life of their partner, parents and kids. By donating stem cells, you’re giving someone the chance at survival and an opportunity to share more time with their loved ones.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at srinivasan.varadarajalu@gmail.com - I’ll do my best to answer them.And of course, I want to say big thank you to My Wife and Son, who were part of this journey through out, taking care of my health during the entire process and my Parents who supported me and blessed me.If this story has inspired you to register with BE THE CURE, or even to give blood for the first time, please feel free to approach Jeevan’s Be The Cure Registry. You too can encourage others to register- as the Bible Says:Philippians 2: 3-4 - Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

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Mr. Thyagarajan

Dr. Budamala Subramanyam Reddy

Dr. Budamala Subramanyam Reddy a beneficiary of your support.

Mr. Dalwin Joe

Mr. Dalwin Joe a beneficiary of your support.

Dr. Prashant Hiwarkar, PhD

Head, Department of Bone Marrow Transplant Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children.


In The News

12 August2016The Indian Telegraph“JEEVAN” Bone Marrow Registry – Public Stem Cell Banking Saving Lives
14 july 2016DT NextPublic cord blood bank sees a steady rise in donors
29 june 2016JDF IndiaDr. Saranya Narayan on Public Cord Blood Banking and Jeevan's journey
18 Jan 16The HinduFocus on quality at Jeevan Stem Cell Bank
13 Jan 16Daily ThanthiBanking cord blood for healthy future
14 Oct 15PR NewswireGlobal Stem Cell Banking Market 2015-2019 - Reportlinker Review
07 Sep 15The HinduAll about stem cell banking
23 April 15India SporaBecause we are Indians and the Indian DNA is different
25 Jan 15The Times of IndiaHeard about a public stem cell bank in Chennai?
03 May 13The HinduRs 9 Crore grant set to promote public cord blood banking
30 April 13Health Care AsiaPublic Cord Blood Banking recognised by Tamilnadu Government
30 April 13The HinduTN Govt announces 9 crore grant to Jeevan for stem cell storage
09 April 13Times of IndiaPatients in limbo as stem cell banks cry for cord blood
13 April 12Joy of ScienceUmbilical cord blood stem cells
20 Aug 09The HinduJeevan Stem Cell Bank collects 114 public cord blood units
01 Jan 09The HinduPublic Cord Blood Banking becomes a reality in Chennai
25 Sept 08The Hindu NXGThe best kind of gift
08 Sept 08Indian ExpressLets have better blood screening tests
05 Aug 08Times of IndiaWellington Foundation gives Rs.28L for NAT facility
05 Aug 08DinamaniBlood bank receives donation
05 Jun 08The HinduJeevan blood bank launches Nucleic Acid Testing
05 Aug 08UK in IndiaUK Scientists In South India
19 Feb 08Nerve.inBritain woos India as biotech research partner
January 2008Rotary InternationalRotarians in India move into the stem cell
16 Jan 08RediffStem cell banks strike the right 'cord'
10 Jan 08The HinduPublic stem cell bank: dump not, donate cord blood
06 Jan 08The HinduWhere are the Volunteers?
05 Jan 08The hinduStem cell bank to be ready by March-end
05 Jan 08Business LineJeevan Blood Bank to set up stem cell bank
04 Jan 08News TodayStem cell bank within reach
24 Nov 05The HinduWe will break even in three years
21 Oct 05The HinduJeevan Blood Bank celebrates 10th anniversary
30 Sep 04News TodayTo Himalayas with a social cause
16 Jun 04News TodayDonate the lifeline to save lives
2004GiveIndiaGiveIndia certifies 70 NGOs as credible NGOs
16 Aug 03Business LineWant to donate blood?Just SMS
14 Aug 03Chennai OnlineJeevan Blood bank and research
11 Jul 03The HinduPlay in aid of blood bank
15 Jun 03The HinduEquipment donated to Jeevan Blood Bank
06 Oct 02The HinduBlood donor-unsung heroes
23 Jul 02Business LineDo your shopping, and donate blood!
22 May 02Business LineDREAM for voluntary blood donors
28 May 02The HinduDreams come true
28 Apr 02The HinduSave a life
29 Jan 01The HinduRipples again in theatre scene
09 Apr 2000The HinduBlood products -becoming self-sufficient
07 Oct 99Economic TimesISO 9002 for blood bank
02 Oct 99India ServerCountry's first ISO ceritified Blood bank
07 Jan 97Business LineSafeblood and corporates
27 Sep 95DinamaniJeevan - a life-saving bank
25 Sep 95The HinduInstitute to screen blood samples opened
25 Sep 95The Indian ExpressJeevan Blood Bank gets ISO 9002
20 Jun 95The HinduBlood bank in voluntary sector
03 Jun 95The Indian ExpressState-of-the-art voluntary blood bank for city