Our prayers are with you professor Nalini

Morning readers, on this lovely Sunday as I glanced at my Sunday TOI newspaper, an article in the middle of the front page, caught my eye it read ‘Ditched by stem cell donor, Stanford professor fights for life!! ’.

I am saddened reading Dr Nalini’s condition and even more saddened by the fact that even when a rare donor was found in the nick of time, he/she withdrew consent citing health and family problems. I can’t even imagine what Dr Nalini and her family must be going through since the donor withdrawal happened.

I don’t know Dr Nalini personally but when carefully reading the article and a doing a bit of research, my belief is that she is a wonderful professor whose life’s work has only bettered the lives of hundreds of students. This can be ascertained from the constant support she is getting from her students to identify a suitable bone marrow match.
But in this blog, I want to highlight something that we in India need to desperately act upon i.e. increasing the pool of donor’s especially stem cell donors, so that the recipient can always have alternatives (backups) in case the shortlisted matching donor withdraws his/her consent in going ahead with the scheduled transplant.

Personally I feel very bad as to why would such a person withdraw at the last moment, but what is more important is that the recipient should have good alternatives so that he/she can have the best chance of making a full recovery.
There has to be a nationwide drive and awareness of the importance of stem cell donation. Why isn’t stem cell donation picked up speed like the blood donation drives in our country? We are more than a billion strong country and every individual is unique in DNA make up. Wouldn’t the life of beautiful people like Dr Nalini be far better if there were more donors in our country? I am sure that there are potential donors but what is needed is an efficient and effective method of mapping them.

There has to be conscience change in the mindsets of people to push themselves out of the comfort zone of ‘it didn’t happen to me’, oh come on…why aren’t the stakeholders in the health care ministry thinking about this? We need to do more collectively as a nation to better the chances of people fighting terminal illness, especially when there is a chance of recovery; we need to better those chances!

There has to be a more organized and prudent approach so that wonderful people like Dr Nalini, can’t just leave their fate on sheer ‘luck’ of not only a donor match but also a donor who is ready to go ahead with the transplant!
On a concluding and emotional note, our prayers are with you Dr Nalini, may your well wishers succeed in finding a donor who is ready to go all the way hand in hand. I am sure that on doing so, he would not only help you, but be an example for millions of others to follow.

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