KOCHI: As the world celebrates World Marrow Donor Day on Saturday, Edwin Dominic has more than one reason to be proud. Edwin, 25, donated his marrow for the second time, relieving another human from pain and distress.
He was informed in May that his marrow was a match to a five-year-old child in Sri Lanka, diagnosed with thalassemia. Having registered as a volunteer for blood stem cell donation with DATRI, India’s largest adult unrelated blood stem donor registry in 2016, during a donor registration drive held at Christ College, Irinjalakkuda, this young man is an inspiration worth emulating.
According to Aby Sam John, DATRI’s Kerala regional head, this is the first time in the country that a donor becomes a match for two patients. “Earlier this year, in June, when our team had approached him to donate for a much older patient with blood cancer, Edwin was very happy to donate via Peripheral Blood Stem Cell (PBSC) donation method,” said Aby.
In April 2017, after detailed research on the subject and consulting doctors, Edwin had volunteered for blood stem cell donation via bone marrow for the first time. “I never realised the joy of saving a life until I got a chance to see the young child leading a happy and normal life because of a few hours of effort I had to put in. Now, I feel he is my blood brother and I am connected to him for life-long. With the support and encouragement of my parents, I was happy to donate the second time as well,” said Edwin.
Also, he added he would be happy to donate if found a match for the third time. “Through his generous act, Edwin has proved that blood stem cell donation is a very safe and harmless procedure, whether donated via bone marrow or PBSC method,” said Aby.
While the total number of donors registered for Kerala is over 90,124, only 103 donors have donated till date. “A blood stem cell transplant is the last ray of hope and the final treatment option for fatal blood disorders like blood cancer and thalassemia. For these, patients require HLA matched donors. As of today, the probability of finding an HLA matched donor is only 1 in 10,000 to one in over a million, as the total number of volunteer donors registered in the country is very low,” said Aby.