Ten Year old Thalassemia Patient Meets her Life-saver Through DATRI - His Blood Stem Cells Rescued Her

Friday, April 27, 2018 Genetics & Stem Cells News
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CHENNAI, April 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

Neerali was diagnosed with Thalassemia Major when she was a baby. Thalassemia

is a genetic condition that leads to defective production of haemoglobin. She had to undergo painful blood transfusions every 20 days to keep her alive. Her last ray of hope was a blood stem cell transplant. The chance of finding a matched blood stem
cell donor from within the family was as low as 25%. On the other hand, the probability of finding an unrelated matched blood stem cell donor was 1 in 10,000 to 1 over a million. Every match is close to a miracle. If a match is found, that donor is probably the only person who can save the patient.

     (Logo: https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/682760/DATRI_Logo.jpg )      (Photo: https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/682761/Gopal_and_Neerali.jpg )

Amidst such a gloomy situation, in the year 2015, while Neerali was undergoing treatment in Apollo Specialty Hospital, Chennai, her doctor, Dr. Revathi Raj had reached out to DATRI for an unrelated donor. As luck would have it, a perfectly matched donor was found in Dubai for the young girl.

Mr. Gopal Vachhani had registered with DATRI in a drive conducted for a patient in Dubai in 2013. At that time he was not found to be a match for that patient. But almost after 2 years of registering with DATRI he received a call informing he was a perfect match for a young girl who was suffering from a serious blood disorder and was asked if he would donate his blood stem cells. Without any hesitation, Mr. Vachhani flew all the way from Dubai for the donation process to save the little girl's life, putting an end to the painful hospital visits. He also happens to be the 100th donor from DATRI to donate blood stem cells.It is 3 years post-transplant now and the child is completely cured of Thalassemia.

The gathering on the afternoon of 25th of April was filled with eager chirps to witness the meeting of the donor and the recipient for the first time. When the mainline news these days is flooded with hate-crime and honor killings, here we could see for a change, a life-saving act. This was one of the few rare occasions that re-instills a on humanity and showcases the hard to see ‘live-let live’ attitude.

Mr. Vachhani, a life-insurance manager by profession who is a life-saver now, said, "The little girl needed my stem cells to live and I needed to help her urgently. I felt this opportunity as my fortune to save a life." A very emotional Mr. Atul, Neerali's father, said, "My daughter's doctor Dr. Revathi Raj asked me to believe in DATRI. I had hope for her and prayed to Samyapuram Amman to help my child. The next day I received a call that a donor had been found. He is truly God-sent. No words can express our gratitude to the donor."

Dr. Revathi Raj, a well-known Pediatric Hemato-oncologist and Neerali's doctor, said, "Neerali loves to dance. Donors like Mr. Gopal keep the dreams and ambitions of such children alive. We have a number of patients suffering from fatal blood disorders like blood cancer and Thalassemia, for whom the last resort is a blood stem cell transplant. For patients who do not find a match from within their family, the only hope is finding an unrelated donor through registries like DATRI."

"Every donor registered with DATRI is a step closer to saving a life somewhere. It is important that we have a large donor pool from various ethnicities to help patients requiring a blood stem cell transplant," says Mr. Raghu Rajagopal, Co-founder and CEO of DATRI.

There are around 10,000 babies born with Thalassemia in our country every year. The only cure is a blood stem cell transplant. Anyone in the age group of 18-50 can register themselves on http://www.datri.org and give the 'Gift of Life' to those in need.


DATRI is a not-for-profit organization co-founded by Mr. Raghu Rajagopal, Dr. Nezih Cereb and Dr. Soo Young Yang in 2009. The vision of the organization is to find a willing matched donor for every patient suffering from fatal blood-related disorders and in need of a blood stem cell transplant.

DATRI is India's largest adult unrelated blood stem cell donors registry with 3,38,000 voluntary donors registered. DATRI has facilitated over 380 donations till today including 53 donations for international patients. DATRI has serviced patients from over 70 hospitals across the world.

DATRI is an associate of Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide (BMWD) and a member of World Marrow Donors Association (WMDA).

To become a donor, login to http://datri.org/join .

Media Contact: Hinduja Raj MV hinduja@datri.org +91-9940389300 Head- Marketing and Communications DATRI Blood Stem Cell Donor Registry

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