It all started with a roadshow at my previous working place at Harbourfront. I was approached to be a volunteer bone marrow donor. Initially, I had fears as I am afraid of injections but I was told that it is not a painful process, so I decided to just sign up.
Then I went into the BMDP website and began to read patient stories who found a new life after going through a bone marrow transplant. The stories really moved my heart and I was even more determined to be a donor. Approximately one year after signing up, I was called to go through a blood test. I was found to be a match.
No words can describe the satisfaction I had felt after the donation. The pain and fears were gone as soon as I was done with the donation. I couldn't believe that I had done it. It was a mixture of both happiness and sadness. While I was happy to have gone through the donation, I was also really sad to hear that it was rare to find an Indian donor match. I hope I can do something to create awareness within the Indian community. If a person like who is afraid of needles can do it, I’m sure anyone else can do it too.
I signed up for the Bone Marrow Donor Programme during a promotion drive held at my church sometime in 2018. We were briefed on what the process entailed and how our donation could help patients. A mouth swap was taken during the promotion for the donor list.
A few months later, I was informed that I was a perfect match for a young patient.BMDP arranged a complete medical checkup including blood tests and X- Rays to gauge my suitability as a donor. he test and consultations were all scheduled at my convenience.
Having determined that I was a suitable donor, I underwent the procedure in April 2019. The bone marrow was extracted from my pelvic bone under general anaesthesia.The procedure took a day and was again scheduled at my convenience. There was very little discomfort and hardly any pain. I resumed normal activities the following day.
In October 2019, I was informed that the patient required a lymphocyte infusion. Another round of medical checkup and tests were arranged at my convenience to gauge my suitability. This infusion process took about 4 hours and I was discharged on the same day.
Overall, the entire process went very smoothly and was scheduled at my convenience.A coordinator was assigned by BMDP to guide me throughout the process. I look back in satisfaction knowing that my contribution has helped a young person to live a healthy and normal life.