We are thrilled to inform you that Gurpreet received a transplant from her sister. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.
It is with great pleasure we inform you that Sharmila received a transplant. She is doing well post-transplant, but still needs our best wishes and prayers.
It is with great joy we inform you that Nina was transplanted by cord blood. Here are a few words celebrating her 1 year post transplant. “Thank you so much to everyone for your incredible support in Nina’s journey to find a bone marrow donor. After two years of treatment, Nina received a cord-blood transplant at UCLA from the national cord blood registry. She celebrated her “re-birthday” with a little blue cake and sprinkles of hope for the future.”
We are thrilled to inform you that Omar received a transplant! His recovery is progressing well. Please continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
We are thrilled to let everyone know that Sachin found a match and was transplanted. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers as he recovers.
We are delighted to inform you that Karen has found a match! She is now recovering from the transplant. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.
With great pleasure we would like to inform you that Gaurav was transplanted at CMC Vellore, India.
Gaurav is doing well and now lives in Ahmedabad, India. He is teaching business management and began an organization assisting cancer patients.
Vinod Kumar was transplanted. Here are a few words from Vinod:
“I am very happy to let you know that my health progress is really good and I am in much better shape now. Now I am dealing with side effects from the oral medicines, hoping to come out of all side effects by the end of this year.
I started my new job. I am so grateful to all of you for your support/help/wishes/kind heart/financial support in my recent health struggle, thank you all for giving me strength to go on.
I will never forget the people who really helped me and showed generosity. I am extremely grateful for all the support you provided me and my family. ”
We have great news. Dr. Anand was transplanted. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
A few words from Dr. Anand: “I am 18 months post BMT for ALL. I’m doing well and very happy to be around for my wife and children and family and friends. Words cannot express my gratitude to you and your organization in this great cause which selflessly helps people like me. I am one of the very lucky Asians who got a complete match. It is the tireless efforts over the years of what you do in raising awareness and spreading the word that every Asian should be registered in the system. There is no reason why anyone who gets diagnosed with such an illness that requires a marrow transplant to survive because of a match situation should not find one. I would love to be involved, in any capacity, to help your organization.
We are excited to inform everyone that Ankush was transplanted. Continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers as he recovers.
“I was diagnosed. I did not know what leukemia was. The only thing I knew was that cancer can be cured. My family, friends and unknown came to rescue me during the difficult time. My younger sister left her school and part time job to take care of me as her baby. My fiancé did not leave my hand and was keeping me busy. I had a BMT. The first three months were very difficult. Once my immunity started to develop, doctors sent me home. I was so happy when I came home after 3 months. As time went by, my strength and immunity started to develop. Doctors cleared me from leukemia and informed me that I can go back to work. I have been working full time. Recently, I got married with the same girl, Neha, who took care of me through all the difficult time. At the end I want to say good days are followed by bad days. Thank you SAMAR for your continued support to me and my family.” – Ankush
Vanaja found a match! She was transplanted and has been recovering well. Continue to keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers.
Savita was transplanted! Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers!
Here is Savita’s story: “The night of June is unforgettable. I still remember when a doctor knocked on my door at 9:30 pm and informed me that I had leukemia and had to go to the hospital immediately.
I had had pneumonia for a couple of weeks and the fever wasn’t going down. When I visited him on the morning of 7th, he took my blood for testing. The report was shocking. By the morning of the 8th it was confirmed that I had the rarest kind of AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia) Monosomy 7 and my chances of survival were bleak.
Anyway the doctors did their duty and started giving me treatment. I had no choice so I went through three rounds chemotherapy and ran the gamut of the side effects — fever, baldness, diarrhea, mouth sores, you name it. I think I was very fortunate to get the best treatment available in South Australia at Royal Adelaide Hospital by the very best team of doctors and nurses. I came into remission in early July and was discharged from the hospital on the 6th of July.
I was very happy, but I was told that the cancer was likely to relapse and that a bone marrow transplant was a must. We started looking for bone marrow donors starting with my immediate family. First my sibling’s blood was tested. Though I have 4 siblings — two brothers and two sisters — none of them turned out to be a match. Next my maternal cousins as my antigen were from mother’s side. Luck did not favor this time either. Still my family did not give up and started conducting bone marrow donor drives with the help of organizations like SAMAR in Australia and USA. I am sure some people were helped by the drives that they ran though I was not lucky enough to be one of them.
Everybody was disappointed. Time was running out, relapse could occur anytime. Though I was feeling normal after remission but the fear of relapse was always there at the back of my mind and I could see and feel how my husband, daughters, brothers, sisters, parents, family and friends were trying to keep me happy. Definitely this hard time brought me closer to my loved ones.
As was expected I had a relapse 16 months after my first remission. I went through the same treatment cycle, came into remission but this time with little hope of survival as I had not found any match yet. Another relapse and we were out of options.
When I was in the hospital my doctor mentioned the possibility of a cord blood transplant. He had not done it on his own in Adelaide but was ready to try if I was willing. As we had no other options I decided to go for it. Again it was a bit difficult to get a match for me due to my usual combination of antigens and weight. I was 65 kg so I needed two units of cord blood as stem cells from a single unit are not sufficient for enough for an adult recipient.
This time luck did favor me as we were able to get two units of cord blood from two different babies — a boy with A+ blood group and a girl with O- blood group — from two different states in the US. The cord blood units arrived while I was in remission and were successfully transplanted.
It’s been a long and rough road to recovery but the best part of the story is that I am still here. After frequent blood and platelets transfusions, a lot of medications, managing side effects like drug-induced seizures; it appears though that I am finally on my way to recovery. My blood counts have been normal for the past one year; seizures are under control with help of medication. I have started leading a normal life, doing regular household chores, visiting friends now and then and going out got shopping and dining. I will be celebrating the 4th anniversary of my cord blood transplant and am looking forward to visiting my parents, family and friends in India soon.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my doctors, nurses, family and friends, the bone marrow registries in Australia and USA and organizations like SAMAR who helped in conducting the donor drives on my behalf, and the people who donated blood for me. And a very special thanks to those mothers whose babies’ stem cells are part of my blood stream now and are keeping me alive.
We are very happy to inform that Raju has received a transplant. Our thoughts and prayers are with him for a quick recovery.
From Raju’s son, Deepu: “Words cannot express the gratitude I have for Mrs. Khan, Mr. Khan, Dr. Jacob and all the other wonderful volunteers at SAMAR. At a time when we felt very powerless in being able to help our beloved father, SAMAR’s bone marrow drives helped us feel that we can do something to help him. Please let me know when you have more drives coming up. I would like to continue to participate in them.”
A few words from Parag: “SAMAR is such an awesome organization and I’m so proud of the work your team does! When I first learned of my disease, my initial reaction was panic and fear, until I was approached by the amazing people at SAMAR. They gave me a sense of hope and support that helped me fight through and win my battle. These warm hearted, dedicated individuals gave me and my family the strength we needed and let us know we weren’t alone in our fight. Thank you SAMAR for helping to save my life.”
We are happy to report that Rakesh has undergone a transplant and he doing well. Please say a prayer for his quick recovery.
We are happy to report that Ted has undergone a transplant and he is doing well. Please say a prayer for his continued recovery.
We are very happy to inform that Subash has received a transplant. Our thoughts and prayers are with him for a quick recovery.
We are pleased to announce that Herschel received a transplant. Please continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
Sultan was transplanted. He is doing great! Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. Here are a few words from him:
“I would like to thank Samar for their commitment and efforts to creating eternal hope for patients and their families. I was diagnosed at the age of nine with leukemia and during this dark time assisted my family and me. They helped inspire me to never give up and lose hope. Their compassion and generosity has reminded me to be able to give back and help inspire other. A personal belief we share is to save one life is to have saved all mankind. Together we all can make a difference.”
Nidha was transplanted. We continue to keep her in our thoughts and prayers.
“The bone marrow transplant saved my life. It allowed me to go back to school and complete my undergraduate studies. I went on to graduate school and received a Masters of Public Health degree from Columbia University. I have been able to do things I would never have imagined – participate in 2 half-marathons, go trekking in Nepal, bathe in the Mediterranean Sea, walk on glaciers in Patagonia – among other wondrous experiences. SAMAR recruited Hemish and his parents to become potential bone marrow donors. When I needed a transplant 4 years later, SAMAR’s hard work and dedication made it possible for me to find a match. Hemish’s incredible act of kindness is impossible to match but I try to pay it forward by volunteering. I take part in fundraising events such as Cycle for Survival and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. I have mentored a student from an international high school and taught adults English literacy at the library. Donating bone marrow to a complete stranger is a heroic act. I feel truly blessed that SAMAR found this courageous hero for me .”
“The gratitude I feel for my bone marrow transplant cannot be expressed. I am humbled by the kindness of my bone marrow donor and forever in his debt. I have been given the gift of life and with this gift I have graduated college and pursued graduate studies. I hope to serve as a Public Health professional where I can impact the lives of those touched with illnesses.”
Jay was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the age of 9. Four years later, the leukemia recurred and after guidance and support from SAMAR to find a match, he received a bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor in August of that same year.
In a heartfelt ceremony held by SAMAR, a grateful Jay and his parents met his donor for the first time. It was a “Patel meets Patel” moment as the donor had lived and grown up in the same neighborhood in India as his parents.
“Always keep hope, there is someone who is going to help you. It has given me a new outlook on life” – Jay
After going to college at Harvard University, Jay is now researcher studying leukemia and other hematologic disorders. He has published more than 20 articles including a recent first-author paper in the New England Journal of Medicine describing the effect of different mutations on the survival of patients with acute myeloid leukemia.