Register as a Stem Cell Donor and Save Someone’s Life – Siliconeer – World’s First South Asian Digital Daily

Vivek Kumar seen here with his son, encourages his fellow Indians to register as potential stem cell donors. He registered and, later, donated his stem cells to a woman in India. Vivek holds a masters degree in business from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.

By Sally Douglas Arce

Indians, who are diagnosed with leukemia and other blood cancers, face challenges. Finding a match and, then, receiving a stem cell transplant is one of the only treatments to extend or save these patients’ lives. Indians are severely under-represented as stem cell donors.

Seventy percent of the time, a stranger of your same ethnic background will be your stem cell match. Proportionally, there are more whites than Asians/Pacific Islanders on the Be The Match national registry.

“What’s the solution?” asks Carol Gillespie, the executive director of the Asian American Donor Program (AADP), a nonprofit in Alameda, CA. “It’s to encourage more Indians and ethnically diverse people to register as potential stem cell donors.”

Joining Be The Match means volunteering to be listed as a potential blood stem cell donor, ready to save the life of any patient anywhere in the world who is in need of a transplant.

AADP is currently working with Veer, a 3-year-old Indian boy who lives in Canada and Layla, a 2-year-old Indian girl who lives in the UK. Both need to find a stem cell donor to extend their lives.

For Vivek Kumar, who is originally from Mumbai, within a few years of his registering as a donor, he was