Free drives by NMDP

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!