Kochi: Even as stem cell donation is picking up, the number of women donors was fewer. But reversing the trend, more young women are coming forward now. Dr Kanmani Kannan and Ashwika Kavirajan are two women donors from Kerala who took the first step to gift a life by donating their stem cells.
Dr Kannan, belonging to Pachaperumalpatti, a village in Trichy district of Tamil Nadu, and living in Kerala for last six years, is the first woman donor from the state. "When the one in a million opportunities knocked on my doors I immediately accepted," she said. She donated stem cells to save the life of a six-year-old girl suffering from a fatal blood disorder.
Despite having high education and health standards, Kerala lags much behind in the number of registered stem cell donors. DATRI, the national stem cell registry, has only 56,383 potential donors registered. There were 39 donations from the state, but only two were from women.
According to experts, the low number of potential donors calls for more awareness about the importance of saving lives through the simple and safe procedure. Ms Kavirajan from Aluva, who works as an IT professional at Infopark, saved the life of a 10-year-old girl. "It was my own decision to donate stem cells, and I am thankful to my parents and others for their support," she said.
More than 1500 patients are waiting for a match on DATRI. The probability of finding a matching donor is one in 10,000 to one in over a million, and every match is close to a miracle. More women are requested to come forward to save lives through stem cell donation, said Raghu Rajagopal, co-founder and CEO of DATRI.