Life & Beyond : Bone Marrow and Tissue Transplant

Tilak Vij

Organ donation is when a person allows an organ of one’s own to be removed and transplanted to another person legally, either by consent when the donor is alive or after death with the permission of the next of kin. Bone marrow transplantation is amongst the most spectacular achievements in the field of medical research. Bone marrow transplantation is a process to replace malfunctioning bone marrow with healthy functioning bone marrow.

A bone marrow transplant is also called a stem cell transplantation, is a treatment for some types of cancer. It is also for curing leukemia, multiple myeloma and other types of lymphoma. Some other types of diseases are also treated with stem cell transplants.

A fragile part of your bones called bone marrow makes blood cells. Marrow is the soft, spongy tissue inside bone It contains cells called hematopoietic stem cells. These cells can turn into several other types of cells, which can further turn into more bone marrow cells or other type of blood cells.

Certain cancers and other diseases prevent hematopoietic stem cells from developing normally. If they are not normal, blood cells they make are also not normal. Transplant of new stem cells can make new healthy blood cells.

There are many types of stem cell transplants. One is family related donor transplant. If another matched adult donor is not available in the family, then doctors use umbilical cord blood transplant. Another option is non family matched donor transplant. Non family related donors or independent donors have helped save millions of lives suffering from blood related diseases. But still the gap between donors and patients is very huge. Therefore creating awareness about organ donations is vital to serve the society at large.

Taking a cue from family related transplant process, Lu Jikuan, an eleven year old boy from Henan Province in China is on a novel mission. Doctors have recommended bone narrow transplant for his father.

As per the doctors advice one can donate bone marrow only if donor’s weight is minimum 45 kg. But Lu’s weight was only 30 kg. He is trying to increase his weight so that he can donate bone marrow to have his father a new lease of life.

We live in an open society where organ donation by a family member to save another person in the family may not be possible in all situations, thereby threatening precious lives of several persons who need bone marrow transplants. Dadhichi Deh Daan Samiti have embarked upon a holistic mission to raise awareness about bone marrow donations to help save many people who are suffering from death-threatening diseases. As per the latest medical research even one tissue donor can save the life of more than seventy five persons.

Transplantation of Human Organs Act was passed in the Indian Parliament in 1994 to avoid commercialization of Organ Transplant.

To further the cause of regulation of Organ donation and transplant of human organs, the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO), the apex body under the Ministry of Health has started a noble program for one million pledges online among the billion Indians on July 8, 2019 the day being completion of 25the year of historic Transplantation of Human Organs Act. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the Union Health Minister asked the people to come forward for organ donation and take a pledge for the same as there is nothing more noble than organ donation. He further added let’s be an organ donor and save lives of millions of people.

Your tissue donation may provide last chance to save the lives of many who are sick with serious illnesses.