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International Women’s Day: Young Women Take Charge as Lifesavers – Asmita’s Inspiring Story

Delhi : In a bid to increase awareness about blood stem cell donation, DKMS BMST Foundation India, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the fight against blood cancer, celebrates young women who recently donated stem cells. Recognising women blood stem cell donors ensures more participation of young people in the stem cell registry, increasing the chances of finding a match and ultimately saving lives.

Asmita, a 26-year-old senior analyst from Delhi, is an inspiring example of a woman committed to making a difference through stem cell donation. In August 2021, Asmita registered as a potential blood stem cell donor in India. “I registered with DKMS-BMST and gave my swab sample for HLA testing to be added to their potential donors’ list. Incidentally, within 4-5 months of registration, I got a call that I had matched with a patient who needed a stem cell transplant. I realised that something so simple could potentially save someone’s life,” says Asmita.

“The very idea of being a lifesaving match for a patient was as captivating as the process itself. Yet, the road ahead was not without its challenges,” she adds.

Asmita had some concerns and felt a bit anxious because she was anemic, but the DKMS-BMST team addressed all her worries. They conducted various tests to ensure her health and well-being for donation, keeping her informed at every step and explaining the process thoroughly.

“To everyone reading my story, I have a simple message – Never underestimate the power of your efforts and time in bringing about significant changes in someone else’s life. It’s easy to lament the lack of empathy and actions to help others, but it is important to act. We all get presented with incredible opportunities and the challenging part is saying yes,” she says.

Indians are underrepresented in the global donor pool. Increasing female participation can inspire others to follow. Their actions help create a more diverse and inclusive registry, boosting the chances of finding a match for anyone in need. “We hope Asmita’s story encourages more women to take this simple yet potentially life-changing step,” said Patrick Paul, CEO, DKMS-BMST. “Together, we can build a strong and diverse stem cell registry offering hope to patients in need.”

Every 5 minutes, someone in India is diagnosed with blood cancer or a blood disorder like Thalassemia or Aplastic Anemia. Many such patients are children and young people whose only chance of recovery is a stem cell transplant. For a successful stem cell transplant, the patient needs to find an HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) matched donor. Most often, the majority of the patients are unable to receive a transplant due to the unavailability of a matching blood stem cell donor. With very few individuals signing up as potential blood stem cell donors, finding a matching donor is difficult. This increases the need for more people of Indian ethnicity to register themselves.

DKMS-BMST urges all eligible people to consider registering as stem cell donors. The process is simple and takes five minutes of your time.

To register as a potential stem cell donor, you must be a healthy Indian adult between 18 and 55 years of age. When you are ready to register, all you need to do is complete a consent form and swab the inside of your cheeks to collect your tissue cells. Your tissue sample is then sent to the lab to be analyzed and listed anonymously on the international search platform for matching stem cell donors. If you’re eligible, take the first step to register as a blood stem cell donor by ordering your home swab kit at

So far, DKMS-BMST India has registered over 1,00,000 stem cell donors in the country, out of which 35,000 are women. DKMS-BMST has facilitated 110 stem cell transplants, out of which 14 donations have been made by matched women donors, significantly impacting the fight against blood cancer. The organisation aims to register more donors in India to give as many patients as possible a second chance at life.

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