When bone marrow transplant and stem cell research are relatively uncharted waters in Kerala compared to cancer awareness, two young girls, Dr. Kanmani Kannan and Ashwika Kavirajan, have become sterling examples in selflessness by donating stem cells to two children suffering from Thalassemia disorder.
The disorder results in excessive destruction of red blood cells, which ultimately leads to anemia. Although regular blood transfusions help to a certain extent, it’s not a cure. Bone marrow transplant is the only assured solution to the inherited blood disorder.
The stem cell donation was facilitated through the Dhathri Blood Stem Donor Registry. It’s the first time that the donation was effected by two women who had registered for the noble medical cause.
Dr. Kannan, who is preparing for her PG medical entrance hails from Pachaperumalpatty near Tiruchirappalli, has been in Kerala for the past six years. She registered for stem cell donation while she was a student in Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences. She lives in Thrissur now. It was for a six-year-old little girl that Dr. Kanmani donated her stem cells.
Ashwika Kavirajan works for TCS as a systems engineer at Infopark in Kochi. She was born and raised in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Ashwika, who now lives in Aluva, donated her stem cells to a 10-year-old girl.
The young women are happy. They feel fulfilled that they could save two lives. Besides, they are quite proud of the fact that they were the first women from Kerala to donate stem cells. Ashwika is happy that there’s a family somewhere, which will always think of her and link her name with theirs in moments of joy.
As for Dr. Kanmani, she is determined to spread awareness about stem cell donation and being a doctor, her efforts should be of immense worth.