Free drives by NMDP

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Funeral Details

The funeral is today (08/09/2009) at 5:30 PM in Philadelphia. The address is:-

701 Derstine Ave
Lansdale, pa, 19446

Phone - 215-855-3311

Time - 5:30 PM

In case you need any help or information please contact:-

Rahul - 267.319.5468.
Radhika - 267.319.5419.
Titas - 302.724.0101.

Please continue to keep everybody in your thoughts and prayers.

Thank You!

Vishal is no more.

Vishal passed away in the wee hours of this morning. Swati and her family are grief stricken. Please pray for them. We shall update the details later.

Rest in Peace Vishal.

Thank You!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Vishal's condition is extremely critical

Hello Friends,

Vishal's condition worsened last night. The amount of carbon dioxide in his body has increased to a very high level. The doctors have tried everything possible. They have now given up. Anything could happen any moment. Vishal's closest cousin and Swati's brother flew down to philadelphia this morning. All his near and dear ones are here. Swati and family are devastated. We are waiting for a miracle to happen. Please pray fervently for one.

Thank You!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Transplant - Day 21

Vishal is still critical. His condition is not getting any better. The only piece of good news is that his White blood cell count is increasing. His lungs are deteriorating by the day. lungs are the key to his speedy recovery. Once the lungs start recovering, it'd be very easy for his body to cope up with this adverse situation. Vishal has ARDS and the doctors suspect that the constant use of the ventilator caused the collapse yesterday. A tube has been inserted to support his lungs. He is still on a ventilator. At noon the settings were about 50% but now they have been moved up to 80% because the oxygen levels is his blood are going down. One of the hypotheses for the low oxygen levels is that his body has become used to sedatives which means that most of his organs are active and are using the already limited oxygen supply.
He is still on dialysis and his kidneys have not recovered. The term used to describe this condition is septic shock.
Coming back to the white blood cell count, the hope is that this would take care of all the infections in the body and reduce the complexity of the treatment. This will then allow the doctors to concentrate on treating his ARDS without having to worry too much about the side effects of various treatments. There is a long and arduous journey lying in front of Vishal, Swati and their family. All we want is for him take one tiny step a day without a set back; does not matter how long it takes to reach the destination. Please continue to cheer them and give your support. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Here's hoping for a brighter tomorrow.

Thank You!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Transplant -Day 20......Battle is going on

Vishal's fight is going on. Every morning we are hoping to hear something positive.
Today in the evening all of a sudden Vishal's one lung collapsed for a short period of time. Doctors took immediate action and pumped in oxygen and brought the whole situation under control. We thank the team of doctors for all their effort day and night and for standing by Vishal's family.Today once again the ventilation is set back to 100%. Doctor are suspecting that Vishal's body might get used to the sedatives and in that case sedatives will be ineffective. But they are still investigating the situation. Please pray to the almighty to give Swati ,Vishal and all their family members full strength to overcome the darkest days of their life.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tranplant - Day 19

Vishal's condition deteriorated a little today. His body is so sensitive now that changing his bed spread caused some fluctuations in his blood pressure. The doctors plan to increase the dosage of sedatives to stabilize his condition a little. So far he has been relying on IV for essential nutrients. There's also a plan to feed him some food through a pipe. This was tried last week but did not work out well. His body was not capable of absorbing all the nutrients from the food and after a while they had to pump this out of his stomach. Hopefully, this should work out today. All this has been taking a huge toll on Swati and her family. So far Swati has been enduring this situation with great strength. Please send some positive thoughts and comments her way, it would immensely boost her confidence and faith. Everybody is waiting for one positive sign to lift up our hopes; a small bright signal that will drive the darkness away. Hopefully and God willingly we will see that very soon. Please continue to keep Vishal, Swati and their family in your thoughts and prayers.

Thank You!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Transplant - Day 18

Last night was uneventful. Vishal pulled it off smoothly however problems started cropping up today afternoon. His oxygen levels were going down. His ventilator settings were switched to 70% from 45%. The doctors are monitoring his condition. If the problem still persists then they would have to give him a heavier dose of sedatives. He is still on dialysis. The experiment revealed that his lungs are still injured/infected and healing has not begun fully yet. This is a setback and Swati is very disappointed. The doctors are of the opinion that Vishal still has a long way to go and that this is going to be a slow and arduous process. His White blood cell count is still close to 0. The doctors are hoping that once the count increases, the healing process will be faster. They plan to repeat this experiment tomorrow.

Thank you all for your immense support! Swati and her family are deriving a lot of strength from you. This is an extremely tough period for them and they are very grateful to you all for being on their side. Please continue doing so. God Bless!

Should Disappointment, parent of Despair,
Strive for her son to seize my careless heart;
When, like a cloud, he sits upon the air,
Preparing on his spell-bound prey to dart:
Chase him away, sweet Hope, with visage bright,
And fright him as the morning frightens night!

Thank You!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Vishal doing better but tonight's critical

As per the doctors Vishal is doing much better today. There are definitely some signs of improvement. Until yesterday, his body was reacting to dialysis very unfavourably. His blood pressure would drop as soon as he was put on dialysis. Today, his body responded very favourably to dialysis. His blood pressure did not go down and a lot of fluid was pumped out of his body. His eyes were bulging out of his sockets because of this excess liquid, after the dialysis today they are now normal. He is still on a ventilator but the settings are at 50%. He is still on sedatives but the doctors have stopped giving him paralytic drugs which means his organs would start being active very soon. Tonight is a very critical test for him; if his body can cope up without the paralytic drugs, it would be a very important milestone for him. He still has mucositis. Every hour blood and mucus are being sucked out of his body.
Typically it takes about 18-28 days for the new marrow to activate and produce white blood cells. In Vishal's case the doctors want to hasten this process. They have given him shots that will kick start the production of white blood cells. The doctors are optimistic that this would help his body heal soon and also help him handle all the treatment related stress better.
Swati is being very strong through this ordeal. Helping her are her and Vishal's family. She is at the hospital 24X7 monitoring his progress and keeping close vigil. Please keep the whole family in your thoughts. Please do pray that Vishal pulls off tonight without any untoward incidents. Hopefully and God willingly tomorrow would be much brighter.

Thank You!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Vishal still critical (Transplant - Day 16)

Vishal's condition deteriorated last night. As per the plan, the doctors wanted to take him off sedatives and dialysis to see how his body copes up. They had reduced ventilation to 45% to see if his lungs can function under these circumstances. As soon as the sedatives started wearing off; the rest of the organs started functioning and his body required more oxygen than his lungs could supply. He started having breathing problems and the doctors had to act very fast. He is back on heavy sedation and now the rest of his organs are passive. He is back on a ventilator with 90% settings. He is back on dialysis as well.
If some of you are wondering how this problem has started, here's the story: After the chemotherapy and the marrow transplant, his white blood cell count was zero. During this time his body had contracted an infection which damaged his lungs and sent his kideneys into a shock. Since then his kidneys have not been functioning upto the mark. Though the infection was taken care of within 2 days, his lungs were damaged considerably. This is the reason why he is on a ventilator so that oxygen is supplied to his entire body.Since it is very hard to determine if his lungs are reviving/have revived, the doctors need to experiment and find out the progress by trial and error. They are regularly taking X-Rays of his lungs but the results could be misleading. X-Rays can only tell you that there is a problem but not the cause or the extent of the problem. There is no other option available to see the intensity of the problem. Since the oxygen supply is limited, the doctors do not want the rest of his organs to use it so much hence the heavy sedation. Medicines and fluid are being passed through intravenously which is causing a different set of problems. Since his kidneys are not functioning they are not able to pump excess fluid and toxins out of his body causing the fluid to enter into his lungs. The result being low oxygen levels in the body. The reason why dialysis is so important for him at present. Here when one more complication arises because dialysis also results in low blood pressure. Also, if his body gets used to dialysis, his kidneys might not recover fast. A day ago the doctors wanted to see if his lungs and kidneys have revived, hence he was taken off dialysis and ventilation. They also took him off sedatives to check if there was any progress. They also hoped that if his body is forced to cope with this adverse situation, his lungs and other organs might start working on a regular rythm. But this was not the case and his condition started deteriorating very fast once the rest of the organs started 'waking up'.
The key organ here is his lungs. Once they start functioning well, the path to recovery is fast.
The action plan for now is to keep him on sedatives, ventilation and dialysis today. His new bone marrow has not yet started producing cells. The doctors plan to activate and hasten this process. They are hoping that this will produce white blood cells which will ward off any infections. They are optimistic that this will also help his body recuperate.
His whole family is with him and providing him with support. He has not been conscious in the past 10 days. Every day has been more gruelling than the previous. Hopefully tomorrow will provide us all with a ray of hope. But for this to happen, we all need your support. Please keep him and his family in your prayers. You have the power to help him win this battle.
Thank You!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Further details on vishal's progress

Vishal has been diagonsed with "mucocyst": infection in which organs from intestine to mouth are affected. The sedatives has been stopped to see how his body organs behave. His blood pressure is low, and additionally fluctuating rapidly. Doctors are trying to see the cause of this by trial-and- error which means they will turn off the supporting systems one by one. Today they turned off dialysis to see if the blood pressure stabilizes and kidney functions normally. All this suggest that he is still very much in the danger zone but the doctors are hopeful of a recovery.
Vishal's lungs are recovering. He is under 55% ventilation now which is a big improvement from 100% last week. However, there is a long way to go. Swati and her parents, her brother and Vishal's paternal aunts, uncle and cousin are there with him. Please keep praying so that we can get some more positive news.

Vishal's update July 31, 2009

Vishal's condition has improved from yesterday evening. Though he still not out of danger but doctors are positive about his betterment. The external support systems has been removed, but he is still under ventilation. He has been given sedatives and artificially induced paralytic drugs to keep his organ functions minimal. Please continue to keep him and his family in your prayers.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Vishal's condition is very critical.

Hello friends, I know most of you are waiting for updates about Vishal's progress. I am writing this in a very agitated state of mind. Vishal's condition is very critical. His lungs are not working, his kidneys have failed. He is on a ventilator. The doctors have given him drugs so as to control the supply of oxygen to different organs. He is in a induced coma kind of state. He is hanging in there fighting for his life. To support him, his entire family is with him. Most of you are aware about his journey since the time he found out about his illness. This is the moment in this journey when he needs all of us the most. I implore you to keep him in your thoughts and prayers. Your prayers are very powerful, please use them to help vishal triumph in this battle. Vishal, Swati and their family need our support and strength to endure this harrowing situation. Please keep them in your prayers as well.

"Hope" is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

Thank You!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Recovering from Transplant - Day +6

Today Vishal is Day +6 from the transplant day. His counts are at bottom. He is getting blood and platelet transfusion as needed. He is having fever and mouth sores which is very common after the transplant. He is extremely fatigued. He is on bunch of antibiotics to prevent more infections to come. He is not able to eat or drink much so he is put on IV Nutrition.

Doctors are saying that the donor's stem cells will take few days to reach Vishal's bone marrow. Once the stem cells are in bone marrow and they are ready to produce the new blood , that time there are chance of getting GVHD(Graft Vs Host Disease) where Vishal's immune system and Donor's cells might attack each other. He is already on medication to reduce GVHD.

Do put your comments as Vishal loves to hear from you.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Transplant Went Smoothly

Vishal's stem cell transplant went smoothly. There was no reaction. He is doing good right now.

Doctors are saying Donor's cells would start producing new blood cells at around 18th day. They would be taking extreme precautions during this time to avoid any infection while his immune system is totally knocked out. He would be in isolation till that time.

He should continue doing good with your prayers and blessings.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Getting Ready For Transplant - Thanks to The Donor

Vishal has to go for 2 days of high dose chemo and 3 days of radiation to wipe out entire bone marrow. This will kill all good and bad blood cells and make a room for donor's cell. His chemo is over and tomorrow is the last day for radiation. He is having the usual side effects like nausea and vomitting.

It was long pending to thank the anonymous donor on the blog. (though we thank that person all the time in our thoughts). We are so fortunate to find a person who doesn't know Vishal and still is ready to donate the stem cells which can save Vishal's life. God bless that person. I will never have enough words to express my gratitude towards that person. Donor is the angel of our life. I hope that more and more people become aware of stem cell donation and every patient in need finds a donor to save his/her life.

Thank you all for still hanging in with us.
(Vishal's wife)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Admitted to hospital for transplant

Vishal has been admitted to the hospital for his transplant. His first day is very uneventful as the hospital staff has not yet found a room for Vishal. He is temporarily shifted to another room. Probably chemo will start sometime in the evening on Sunday(12-Jul-09).

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Transplant Schedule

Results from Bone Marrow Biopsy are not so good. Blasts (Cancer Cells) have started showing up. Vishal has relapsed again.

Doctors had two choices. One option was to give one more round of chemotherapy (around 1 month cycle) and then wait to recover and then go for the transplant. But there are few hurdles in this option. It is harder to achieve remission after relapsing so soon and in case different chemo works then during the recovery period cancer might relapse again as it did this time.

Another option was to prepone the transplant. In this case, there won't be any round of chemo. But as part of transplant, the patient undergoes 2 days of high dose chemo and 3 days of radiation which is called conditioning regime. This conditioning regime should be able to get rid of blasts as its job is to completely empty the bone marrow to make a room for new Donor cells.

Doctor has decided to go with second option. Vishal is getting admitted for transplant on 11th July. Donor has also agreed for the dates which is the great part of this. Vishal had his Heart, Lung and many more tests to see all the organs in the body are in good shape to withstand the transplant. He had Root canal done as part of dental check up. Now he is enjoying the last few days with family before going for the transplant. He went out for small summer outing with his family. There are few pics here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer starts w/ positive news

Hello All,
Firstly apologies for the delayed update.
The update comes with some positive news -- the center was able to find two 10/10 (i.e. 100%) matches.
So if everything works out fine the hospital plans for a transplant end of July or begining of August 2009.
However the biggest factor would be the bone marrow biopsy results next week. These will decide if Vishal needs more chemo or not (more would also predict how much more) to be in remission for the transplant.
As of now, Vishal is spending his time eating, sleeping & watching TV .. :)

Please keep him in your prayers so as to enable him to face bravely what lies ahead.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday May 3rd

First of all our apologies for not uploading the blog from last few weeks as we were low on resources.
Vishal has completed the first round of chemotherapy and has come back to home couple of days back. There will be a gap of few weeks before the start of second round of Chemo. The search for Bone Marrow match is still going on. If the match is found soon then the transplant is possible after the next round of chemo. If it takes times then he will have to get third round of chemo before the transplant.

Thank You.

Monday, April 13, 2009

How can you help?

  • If you cannot find a drive near by then please contact SAMAR, an Organization specifically created for South Asians. Please call them on 718 592 0821 and give them our reference. SAMAR will then send you a Bone Marrow Test Kit free of cost.
  • To find a Bone Marrow Test Drive nearby to your place, Please click here and here. If you are a South Asian this test is free of cost.
  • If you are in India and want to help, DATRI has promised to conduct free drives in different locations. Please mail us at with your name and location and we will help you get in touch with a volunteer.
  • If you want to organize a drive in your neighborhood, campus, workplace etc... please contact us at with your name and location.
  • Please post this content in your neighborhood, workplace, South Asian communities, Restaurants, Grocery Stores, Places of worship etc...
  • Please keep Vishal and his family in your prayers.
  • Please mail Vishal with your comments, wishes and suggestions at Your mails and comments mean a lot to him.
Vishal's cousin Jogita organized a drive in Raleigh, NC. By the grace of God, We received a very good response. We are very grateful to all those people who took the test. Swati's brother Devang helped organize a drive in Dallas. We would like to thank all those people who made this drive a big success.

Mr.Shikher Srivastava and Mr. Ramanath Vutukuru are organizing a drive in Troy, MI on the 26th of April. The address is:

6850 Adams Road, Troy, Michigan 48098 
Phone: (248) 879-2552.

The other upcoming drives which are happening this weekend are:

King Of Prussia Drive:
Sat April 18 10.00AM to Noon
Bharatiya Temple and Cultural Center
1612 County Line Rd, Chalfont, PA 18914-1201.

Dallas Drive:
Sun April 19, 2009.  3pm to 7pm
11321 Webbs Chapel Rd, Dallas, TX 75229.

New York Drive:
Sat Apr 18 12pm – Sat Apr 18 5pm
Centerway Square, Market Street, Corning, NY 14830.

Chicago Drive:
Sat Apr 18 1pm – Sat Apr 18 5pm
Balaji Temple, 1145 W. Sullivan Road, Aurora, IL 60506.

Please register yourself at these drives and help Vishal in finding a successful bone marrow match. Please do remember that this test also benifit many others who are in a similar situation. A small act of yours might help save a life. 
Thank You!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Have you taken the Bone Marrow test yet?

If not, please do so as soon as possible by going here. How simple is this test? Here are some pictures to demonstrate the process is 2 simple steps.

Step 1: Fill up the form with your details.

Step 2: Collect your cheek cells by rubbing a Cotton Swab inside your Right upper cheek. Repeat this step with your right lower, left upper and left lower parts of your cheek.

The whole process will not take more than 10 minutes of your time and since very few South Asians are registered marrow donors, this test is free of cost to all South Asians. Also, Remember that this action of yours will not only benefit Vishal but many others who are in a similar situation.

Vishal is still in the hospital. His first chemotherapy which lasted for a week ended yesterday. His White blood cell count is close to 0 which means his immune system is very weak and he is prone to infections easily. Yesterday, He had a temperature of 101F. He is doing better today but the next 2 weeks are very crucial for him. His body will take 2 weeks to recover from the rigorous chemo regimen. He will have a bone marrow biopsy after a week and this would tell us if the chemo has worked and if the malignant cell count in his body is 0. Swati is with him all the time providing him with much needed support and comfort. Swati's father has come today from India to help her and Vishal.

How is our campaign coming along? First and foremost we would like to thank the incredible alumni of SPCE (Vishal and Swati's Ama mater). Few of them are doing everything possible to spread the message and promote this campaign. Mr. Sujeet Vaidya (an SPCE alumnus) is organizing a drive in Chicago on April 18th. All you folks in Chicago, We would be very grateful if you can be there and provide your support to this cause. Please do take the test if you haven't already taken. We will provide you with more details about this drive in the next post. Also, Ms.Renu and Dr. Akkaraju is organising a drive in Pennsylvania on April 18th at the Bharatiya Temple and Cultural Center in Chalfont, Pennsylvania. Please spread this message so that interested people can attend this drive. CapGemini Group, the company that Vishal works for is planning on conducting drives on its campus. We will let you know once we have all the details. Many of Swati's colleagues from Syntel have already taken the test and We are hopeful that Syntel's management will consider conducting drives on their various campus locations. Mr. Vishal Patil (Vishal's friend) has been working relentlessly to explore various avenues in India. He is in touch with SAMAR, DATRI, AIIMS and Tata Memorial Hospital. Mr. Raghu Rajagopal, Co-founder and CEO of DATRI has expressed a keen interest in Vishal and has promised us to conduct drives at various locations in India. We are all very thankful to all those people who have mailed/called us to provide support and in some cases valuable information. We would like to encourage you to continue doing so. In spite of so many organizations working for this cause, We need more people to take this test. Though South Asia is a highly populous region, we have very few registered donors from this gene pool. The onus is on us South Asians to improve the numbers in our favour.

April 6th happens to be a very special day for both Vishal and Swati. Explaining the significance of this day to us, Swati said:
One of the happiest memories that Vishal and I have are from this day. Vishal had called me asking me to meet him at a restaurant in Nariman Point, Bombay. I could sense some excitement in his voice. I could tell that he was up to something. we had been close friends for more than a year and I knew him very well. Finally when I met him, I noticed that he was behaving very differently. There was a twinkle in his eye and he was constantly fiddling as if he was in my company for the first time. This was the Vishal I had never seen. Then, it suddenly occurred to me that he probably was in love with me and wanted to confess. Once this thought occur ed to me, I could barely think and I was very nervous. How do I react? Should I reject his overtures ? You see, I was confused. I was never sure about the nature of my feelings for Vishal. Before I could think of a plausible reaction, Vishal professed his love to me and I was very overwhelmed. The moment he said those three magical words, it was as if some flood gates had opened up inside me and before I could realize, I was confessing my feelings to him. From that moment on, we have been inseparable. This was 6 years ago and we celebrate this occasion every year on this day. This is our Valentines day.
It is definitely unfair that this lovely couple has to go through this harrowing situation. There are many things that we can do to help them, one of them being - taking the test. Please go here to register yourself today. Please keep them in your prayers.

If you need information pertaining to this campaign or If you want to conduct a drive, please contact us at

Thank You!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Day Six at the Hospital

It has already been five days of Chemo and Vishal is still struggling to adjust to it. His bouts of nausea are becoming more frequent making it difficult for him to eat. The doctors are still monitoring him, so far the result of the chemo are as expected i.e. his cell count is decreasing. Though it has become very painful and grueling he is still being positive and cheerful. He has been watching the India Vs NZ test match and is hopeful that India will have a historic win. Swati is trying to make him his favorite meals. Swati's brother is here for the weekend to help her out and also to spend time with Vishal. Vishal has two more days of Chemo left and doctors have told us that he would have to be in the hospital for the next five weeks or so until he recovers and his immune system is strong and stable. Many of you wanted to see a picture of Vishal, we have uploaded this post with one. We will post the latest pictures soon.

The search for a matching bone marrow is still on and friends have been conducting bone marrow test drives.Last weekend Ajit da organized a drive at Rutgers and a lot of people turned up. One of us spoke with an NMDP representative and it was very encouraging to hear that there has been a sudden spike in the number of south Asians taking this test. To reiterate again Vishal's bone marrow donation has to come from a South Asian and the number of registered South Asian donors is extremely low. As per statistics, the possibility of a match is 1 in 20,000 so it is very important that we all continue to support this drive and spread this message to as many people as possible.If you haven't already taken the test, Please take the test at your nearest location(to find a nearest click here) as early as possible. Your support would mean a lot to us. Please do remember that your action would not only benefit Vishal but plenty of others who are in a similar situation.

We have had a lot of enthusiastic people calling and mailing us asking about what they can do in India. Some amazing folks in India are trying to explore various channels, we will definitely let you know once we have more information.

Please help us in our mission and campaign:

1. By taking a test
  • You can take a test at a free NMDP Drive
  • If you cannot find a drive near by, you can register online at the NMDP site and request for a test kit which will be mailed to you with instructions.
2. By Organizing a drive
  • Please contact us at in case you want to organize a drive.
3. By spreading this message and strengthening this campaign
  • Please update your Orkut/Face book/My space or any other networking site with this blog address so that big hearted people like you can contribute.
  • Please post this content at your workplace, in your neighborhood and nearby South Asian Restaurants and Grocery Stores.
4. By providing your support to Vishal so that he can derive strength to fight this deadly disease.
  • Please do mail him at or leave your comments on this blog. He loves to hear from you.
and Finally, please do keep him in your prayers. Vishal needs you now, Please be there for him.
Thank You!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Day Three at the Hospital

Vishal's chemo regimen has started from yesterday. As is the case with Leukemia (especially AML), he is getting tired easily. Since this disease particularly attacks the red blood cells, it restricts oxygen consumption by various organs resulting in fatigue.  This condition has not affected his cheerful demeanour yet.  He is deriving a lot of strength from the support that he is receiving through your mails and comments. He is very thankful to all of you for your concern and efforts.

Support from different avenues has been trickling in slowly. We have just got in touch with some amazing folks in India who are trying to find out about different channels that could benefit Vishal.
We are in touch with SAMAR and NMDP (see the links section for details about them) and we are trying to contact somebody from DATRI, an organization based out of India. 

We are trying to organize drives in different locations here in the USA. There are still a lot of regions in the US where we do not have any representation. This is where you could help us. Please spread the word about Vishal. Please forward this content to as many people as possible. It would be immensely helpful to the campaign if you can put up this blog address on networking sites like Orkut and Facebook. For your convenience, We have created a link at the top of the page to search for NMDP organised drives in your location. Please take the test and convince others to take it.

We would be very grateful to you if you could put this up 
  • at your workplace
  • in your neighborhood
  • at a Religious place
  • at South Asian grocery stores and Restaurants
Remember that this action of yours would not only benefit Vishal but would also save plenty of lives. He has a lot of dreams about his future, YOU can help him achieve those dreams.
If you have any suggestions/advice please feel free to mail us at
If you want to organize a drive at a location near you or if you want to distribute fliers, please do contact us at

Finally, Please do keep him in your prayers. Thank You!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Day one at the Hospital

Today Vishal was admitted to the hospital (Hospital of University of Pennsylvania). The doctors wanted to do a couple of tests on him to determine the health of his heart. His first cycle of Chemo regimen will start from tomorrow. Apparently, the first cycle is going to last for a week. Anybody who has undergone/who has seen somebody undergo this treatment would tell you that this is the least pleasant experience of his/her life. In the past Vishal has had multiple sessions of Chemo, so he knows what to expect from it He is apprehensive but at the same time prepared for it. He is being cautiously optimistic and has decided to take each day as it comes.

His wife Swati is with him at the hospital providing him with much needed support. Though it was at a short notice, Swati's mother was able to join them last week. Her father will be here next week. Since he is not going to get a chance to eat much in the coming few weeks(The treatment is such that it kills all your cells including your taste buds and side effects include nausea and vomiting), tonight Swati made him his favorite meal. He likes Idlis and potatoes.

So, how did it all start? Around one and a half years ago when Vishal was working in Washington DC and Swati was in Philadelphia, he had come down with flu like symptoms - high fever, body aches and fatigue. He consulted a doctor who put him on regular flu medicine for few days. The symptoms persisted and additionally he noticed that the region around his ankle joints was swollen. The doctor directed him to see a haematologist who in turn did a bone marrow biopsy. In a sad twist of fate, he found out that he had Leukemia on his 29th birthday. This was in October of 2007. His red blood cell count was so alarmingly low that his doctor wanted him to start his treatment immediately. He did not even have sufficient time to react to his diagnosis and additionally his condition had worsened so much in a matter of couple of days that he could not even stand for more than 5 minutes. It was heart rending to see a person who was so active suddenly turn into a weak and helpless human being. Husband and wife both decided that Duke (North Carolina) was their best bet since Vishal's cousin Jogita lived close by.

After many cycles of painful chemotherapy and months of rigorous treatment, he was told that the count of malignant cells in his body was close to zero. He was able to lead a close to normal life for about a year and in between he under went frequent check ups. In his last check up which was a week ago, he found out that the cancer has come back. The doctors have now advised him to go through a bone marrow transplant.

Please keep Vishal in your prayers. He needs your support NOW!
Please take a bone marrow test or at least provide your support to him. We have been conducting drives for bone marrow tests at different places in the North East region. His cousin Jogita has been feverishly campaigning and organizing drives in North Carolina. These drives would not only help Vishal but many people, especially South east Asians who are suffering from this deadly disease. Please spread this message through mails, fliers, Networking sites like Orkut and Facebook. These little actions could drive this campaign further.

Please contact us if you want fliers or template of the flier. It would be very helpful if you can put up this flier at your work place, in your neighborhood, at nearby South east Asian grocery stores/Restaurants. If you want to organize drives in your region or if you have any questions/concerns please feel free to mail us at

Vishal and Swati would like to thank you all for your support.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Myths & Facts about Bone Marrow Donation

A lot of you have expressed concerns about Bone Marrow Donation. We have updated the blog with some Myth busters, I hope this is helpful. If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact us at

The bone marrow donation procedure is painful.
General or regional anesthesia is always used for this procedure. Donors feel no needle injections and no pain during marrow donation.

All bone marrow donations involve surgery.
The majority of donations do not involve surgery. The patient's doctor most commonly requests a peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation, which is non-surgical and outpatient. If marrow is requested, it is a surgical procedure, usually outpatient.

Pieces of bone are removed from the donor.
Pieces of bone are not removed from the donor in either type of donation.

A PBSC donation involves taking the drug filgrastim for five days leading up to donation in order to increase the donor's needed blood-forming cells. On the fifth day, blood is taken from the donor through one arm, passed through a machine that separates out the blood-forming cells, and returned through the donor's other arm.

In marrow donation, no pieces of bone are taken; only the liquid marrow found inside the bones is needed to save the patient's life.

Donating bone marrow is dangerous and weakens the donor.
Though no medical procedure is without risk, there are rarely any long-term effects from donating. Only five percent or less of a donor's marrow is needed to save a life. After donation, the body replaces the donated marrow within four to six weeks.

The NMDP screens all donors carefully before they donate to ensure they are healthy and the procedure is safe for them. The NMDP also educates donors, answers questions every step of the way and follows up with donors after donation.

Bone marrow donation involves a lengthy recovery process.
Due to taking the drug filgrastim, PBSC donors may have symptoms such as headache, bone or muscle pain, nausea, insomnia or fatigue in the five days leading up to donation. These symptoms nearly always disappear one or two days after donating, and the donor is back to normal.

Marrow donors can expect to feel fatigue, some soreness or pressure in their lower back and perhaps some discomfort walking. Marrow donors can expect to be back to work, school and other activities within one to seven days. The average time for all symptoms to disappear is 21 days.

Donors have to pay for the donation procedure.
Donors never pay for donating. All medical costs are paid by the patient's medical insurance or by the patient, sometimes with NMDP assistance. The NMDP reimburses donors for travel costs, and may reimburse other costs on a case-by-case basis.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Please Comment

Please do feel free to provide your support by commenting. Vishal would love to hear from you.

Thank You.

Please help Vishal

Vishal Mehta is a 30-year-old software consultant. He was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) in Oct 2007. After undergoing treatment which included Chemotherapy, he was in remission temporarily.

Unfortunately, the disease has relapsed and doctors have suggested a bone marrow transplant. Transplants work best when there is a family member who is a well-matched donor. Unfortunately, He lost his parents at a very young age and he doesn’t have any siblings. Therefore, he has to depend on a donor outside his family. However, finding a match is very difficult and rare. To add to that a very small percentage of South Asians (Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans and Bangladeshis) are registered to be marrow donors. South Asians comprise approximately only 1% of the National Marrow Donor Registry.

This is your chance to HELP VISHAL and many others like him.

We would like to urge you to take a Bone Marrow test. It is a very simple and painless process.

• No fees required
• On the spot registration
• Give a swab of cheek cells for testing.
• Time required for the entire process is 15 minutes or less.
That’s it! Your tissue type is then added to the registry.

NMDP (National Marrow Donor Program) is conducting this drive at multiple locations. Click on the link specified below and key in your ZIP code to find a location nearer to you.