Gaurav beats Monosomy 7 with a stem cell donation

8 August 2016

Gaurav Bains was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder in 2013. To prevent leukaemia from developing, a blood stem cell donor had to be found for him. Gaurav’s mother, Gurprit, recalls what she and Gaurav’s father, Sunny, experienced when Gaurav was searching for a match:

"Before Gaurav found a donor, he was always in and out of hospital with serious chest infections and his immune system was not working as it should have been. Eventually, he was diagnosed with a blood disorder called Monosomy 7. We were told that the most effective treatment would be for him to have a bone marrow transplant to prevent leukaemia from developing."

Finding a match
"Gaurav was diagnosed in June 2013 and we found out he had a match in November 2013. He underwent the bone marrow transplant in December 2013. After a week of intensive chemotherapy to wipe out his old immune system, he was given the donated stem cells. He spent a couple of months in isolation in the hospital post-transplant to recover and also spent many more months recovering fully at home."

Raising awareness
"The work that DKMS does makes them an invaluable organisation. Raising awareness about the subject of bone marrow donation is so important. We were completely unaware about the bone marrow register until the problem hit home. If more people are made aware of the issue, they would know how their simple selfless actions could save lives. Raising awareness, getting people on the register, and supporting families with loved ones in need of a bone marrow transplant is so valuable to people who find themselves in the same situation we found ourselves in."

Strong and healthy
"Gaurav now has 100% donor cells in his body. He is healthy and strong and this is all thanks to his donor. He has been able to enjoy birthdays, Christmases, school, and all the other little things that we often take for granted. None of this would have been possible without the kindness and selflessness of our donor, he has given our son the gift of life."

A message to others
"We would say to anyone in need of a blood stem cell donation that it is a very long road from diagnosis, to finding a match, to having a transplant and then on to recovery. Rather than looking at the bigger picture we found it helpful to look at things bit by bit, one step at a time, one day at a time. Stay positive and live in hope!"

"A huge thank you to DKMS for all their support during our time in need and to all the people who joined the register when they heard Gaurav's story."