In a rare instance of stem cell donation, Vivek Kumar, a 32-year-old Mountain View, California man of Indian descent, has donated his stem cells for a second transplant in one-and-half years for the same patient.
Kumar, who serves on the advisory board of the Asian American Donor Program, a 20-year-old nonprofit organization with offices in Alameda, CA, said he was happy to help though it was unusual to donate stem cells more than once.
This is because there is a shortage of multi-ethnic donors on the ‘Be the Match Registry’, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP). "Only thirty percent of the time can a searching patient find a match from one of his or her siblings," Gillespie says. "The rest of the time a patient depends upon the generosity of a complete stranger. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack."
To join the registry, go to www.aadp.org and go to the web page that lists drives.
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