Students of Meenakshi College for Women, Chennai, India, have donated their stem cells and registered as potential stem cell donors with Datri Blood Stem Cell Donors Registry.
The college principal, K.S. Lakshmi, initiated the unique practise after she visited the Cancer Institute. "During one of my visits to the hospital, I noticed the hopelessness of the cancer patients. I wanted to donate only money but I was told that more than money the hospital wanted donations for a registry of stem cells," she said.
She took it up with the students in her college and through the various student clubs it gained momentum. The student donors had to get a consent letter from their parents and donors should be above 18 years of age. Students registered by providing names as per their college identity cards and Datri provided a donation kit to each donor.
"They may change their mind at a later date but their donations could be used for research purposes at least," Ms. Lakshmi said.
Datri's co-founder Raghu Rajagopal said it was phenomenal that so many women had registered as potential donors. "The donation drives help as the probability of finding a match (of stem cells) in one's own family is less than 25%. I may get 15 requests for stem cells today but only one might be the right match," he said.