A matching donor has been found for two year old Gaurav Bains from Tipton in Birmingham and he is set to have a bone marrow transplant in December. Gaurav’s family has been working with blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan to appeal for more bone marrow donors to step forward.
Gaurav was diagnosed with rare blood disorder Monosomy 7 Syndrome in June this year. Doctors told his family that without a bone marrow transplant before Christmas, he is likely to develop an aggressive form of childhood leukaemia.
Sunny Bains, Gaurav’s father, says, “When we were told that there was a matching donor, we just couldn’t believe it. Our feelings towards Gaurav’s donor are overwhelming because that person is giving Gaurav such an important gift. If I could, I would go to meet Gaurav’s donor right now and give them the biggest hug in the world.
'A matching donor means that we can go ahead with Gaurav’s bone marrow transplant. It is a very serious procedure but we know that it will give Gaurav the best possible chance at survival. We hope that having the support of those around us will give us the strength we will need to get through the challenges ahead.'
Gaurav’s family launched an appeal for more bone marrow donors and Anthony Nolan estimates that over 3,000 people have joined the bone marrow register as a result of Gaurav’s appeal. Anthony Nolan has seen a 1200% increase in Asian people applying to join their life-saving bone marrow register online. The blood cancer charity has revealed that 480 Asian people applied to the bone marrow register online in September and October 2013 compared to 40 Asian people joining the register in the same two month period in 2012.
Sunny adds, 'Friends, family, and people who we have never met before have backed the campaign to recruit more donors and we would like to thank everyone who has been involved. Every single person who has joined the register could be a match for someone in desperate need of a transplant and help another family out there.
'No one can imagine what it is like to be in the position of needing a bone marrow donor for your child until you experience it. We have been very fortunate in finding a donor and I know that it is not the case for every family.
'The campaign was never just about finding a donor for Gaurav. It was about ensuring that there will be matching donors for years to come – for our children’s families and grandchildren’s families. As a community, I want us to continue this campaign to recruit more bone marrow donors so that every family is able to find a donor for their loved one.'
Bhaveshree Chandegra, Asian Recruitment Manager at Anthony Nolan, says, 'We are absolutely delighted that a matching donor has been found for Gaurav. His story has inspired so many people to sign up as donors and, in particular, we have seen a huge increase in the number of Asian donors on the bone marrow register.'
'Asian patients in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant still have just a 40% chance of finding a match. It is so important that more Asian people sign up as bone marrow donors so that we can help more people like Gaurav in the future and so that no family has to go through an agonising wait to find out if they have a match.' Our Six Percent campaign aims to raise awarness of bone marrow donation in the Asian community, find out more here.
Aged 16-30? You could become a bone marrow donor and help save the life of someone with blood cancer. Find our more about joining our register.