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Indian American Leukemia Patient Need of Lifesaving Bone Marrow Donar

GLASTONBURY, CT- Mahesh is a husband, a father, and a friend. The 68-year-old Indian American is also a leukemia patient and is in desperate need of a peripheral blood stem cell or bone marrow transplant to save his life.

In May 2019, Mahesh (only first name given) was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, a type of blood cancer, the day after celebrating his son’s marriage. The only way to beat this disease is with a bone marrow transplant but before a transplant takes place, a matching stem cell donor must be found.

According to a press release from the Asian American Donor Program, Mahesh, of Glastonbury, Connecticut, has spent four months in the hospital and his need for a match is urgent. Initially, five matches were found on the registry in India, but these donors declined to move forward or were ineligible to donate their stem cells, it said, adding no donor has been found on the Be The Match national registry.

AADP is a 30-year-old community-based nonprofit organization specialized in conducting outreach and donor registration drives in and with diverse communities. AADP is an official recruitment center of the Be The Match registry.

Mahesh’s perfect stem cell match will most likely be someone who is Indian or someone with Indian ancestry. But there aren’t enough Indians registered as potential donors. Today, South Asians make up one percent of the bone marrow registry, as per the AADP.

One also has a 30 percent chance of being a match with a sibling, but Mahesh’s siblings are not the best match for him, as per the press release.

Mahesh, who immigrated to the U.S. in the ‘70s, hails from Orissa.

The Gift of Life Marrow Registry, which is a public bone marrow and blood stem cell registry, has been helping the family find a donor.

So far, almost $2,200 have been raised for the cause.

To help Mahesh, join the registry by texting MAHESH to 61474, or register online: https://join.bethematch.org/Mahesh

“Join the Registry: If you are 18 to 35 and in good health, please swab your cheek and join the registry as soon as possible; hold a donor drive: We need people to help us register new donors for testing. It’s easy and we’ll train you and send you all the supplies you need; share Mahesh’s story using the hashtag #Swab4Mahesh.There are 2.8 million Asian Indians in the United States alone,” the page reads.

For more information, visit www.giftoflife.org/dc/swab4mahesh.

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