With our Patient Funding Programme, we enable patients from poorer regions of the world access to potentially life-saving therapy.
DKMS is working together with local non-profit organisations to help those patients who would otherwise not receive treatment. With our contributions to treatment costs, over 600 patients have received a stem cell transplantation so far.
Jishan from Vijapur, a small town in India, is one of them. This is Jishan's story.
Jishan was just four months old when his parents received the devastating news that their baby boy was diagnosed with thalassemia. This hereditary disease is widespread: more than 10,000 children are born with this condition every year in India alone.
Jishan’s parents had very little awareness of the anaemia but they sought treatment for Jishan. He received his first blood transfusion in Vijapur but he needed this treatment every month. The entire transfusion took up to four hours each time. Every three weeks, the family had to travel several hours from their remote village to Ahmedabad, where Jishan received his blood transfusion at the Civil Hospital.
During one of these visits, they heard about one of our partner organisations in India, Sankalp India Foundation. They aim to facilitate access to affordable and reliable medical treatment for children with life-threatening diseases such as thalassemia and provide free blood transfusions at several centres across the country.
Jishan's first visit to the Sankalp Center brought a new ray of hope. They were told that a blood stem cell transplant could help Jishan. The centre organised a “Thalassemia camp” with support from DKMS within our free HLA typing programme with cooperation from Cure2Children.
To find Jishan’s perfect match for the blood stem cell transplant, swab samples were taken from all members of the family at the camp and sent to the DKMS Life Science Lab for analysis. Two months later, the young parents finally received the good news: Jishan's little sister turned out to be a "perfect match" and she could become Jishan's stem cell donor and lifesaver.
However, this raised the question of funding. Jishan's parents were unable to afford the cost of a blood stem cell transplant all by themselves. However, with help and contributions from DKMS, Cipla Foundation, Jalaram Abhyuday Trust and the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, the treatment was planned at the CIMS Hospital managed by Sankalp in association with Cure2Children.
Jishan was treated in October 2020 and is recovering well. His family is very thankful for the support from Sankalp, Cure2Children, DKMS and all the people who have helped them to overcome the burden of thalassemia and given their son hope for a healthy future.