Valsala, a housewife hailing from Peroorkada here, came to know about the condition of Dr Nalini Ambady from the day’s newspaper.
While reading about the agonising wait of the Kerala- born Stanford academician’s for a suitable bone marrow donor, Valsala didn’t think twice to attend the ‘’matching drive’’ organised by the friends and well-wishers of Dr Ambady at Trivandrum Club on Saturday.
Unfortunately, the 53-year-old had to return disappointed as she was found overaged by the organisers to be a donor. But Valsala as well as the friends of Nalini are hopeful of finding a suitable donor soon. “We had an encouraging response in the capital,’’ said Vijayakumar, one of the organisers.
‘’A total of 126 persons attended the camp, from students to office employees to housewives,’’ he said. Dr Ambady, a psychology professor at Stanford University, hails from Ernakulam. She is suffering from Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) and requires urgent stem cell transplant. As the efforts to find a suitable donor in the US failed, her students and friends are now trying to find a donor in Kerala.
“Chances are relatively high here as it is possible to locate ethnically connected persons here,’’ her friends said. Aneesh, a 28-year-old research student, said he was happy to attend a noble drive. ‘’The process is simple. They rubbed my inner cheek with a small cotton piece and the process was over,’’ he said. As a major chunk of the participants were from Technopark, the organisers said they will conduct a special drive at Technopark on Tuesday.
The drive will be on at Thejaswini building from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ‘’We are looking for donor volunteers in the 18-45 age group. It doesn’t harm anybody, we collect swabs from the left and right inner cheeks with a cottontipped applicator stick,’’ an organiser said. They said the collected data will be added to the Datri Blood Stem Cell Donors Registry which could be useful for needy patients in future. “Nalini’s case should be an eye-opener to us. The under- representation of South Asians in international donor registries should be corrected for our own safety,’’ said an organiser.