Man Gifts Life To Terminally Ill Patient


Donates peripheral blood stem cells to 23-year-old cancer patient

AMRITSAR – Amritsar resident Charat Singh (32) set an exemplary humanitarian example by gifting life to a young man suffering from cancer by donating his blood stem cells.

Charat had got himself registered in 2013 with the DATRI, country’s largest unrelated blood stem cell donors’ registration non-profit organisation in Chennai. Probably, the first one from the Holy City to donate peripheral blood stem cells, Charat said it happened just by chance that he got associated with DATRI.


“I came across a counter set up by DATRI at a shopping mall in Dubai for the Indian community on behalf of a cancer patient. I too got my saliva test done and got myself registered with them,” he said.

After six years, he received a call that he could be a potential match to save the life of a 23-year-old cancer patient.


A patient has bleak chance of finding a matched donor even within the family. There is one in a million chance of finding an unrelated matched donor through human leukocyte antigen (HLA), typing that is used to match patients and donors for bone marrow or cord blood transplants.



“I felt myself fortunate to be chosen by Guru to do this service,” he said. He decided to move ahead, but he had to convince his family to support his decision. An agriculturist by profession, Charat is married with two children.


Gursangat Kaur, his wife, said, “Guru Nanak Dev teaches us that ‘we are human beings of the briefest moment, we do not know the appointed time of our departure’. So, what else can be a bigger service than being a source to save a life”.


Through DATRI he also got connected with Dr Shruti Kakkar, a paediatric haematologist in Ludhiana, who herself is a donor. “I had read a story that was carried by The Tribune about six-year-old boy Fateh Singh in 2017 who was the first recipient of unrelated bone marrow in Amritsar and now leading a normal life. This story further encouraged me to have the privilege to be a donor,” he said.


Dr Kakkar told him that it would be just a four-day process for a donor to undergo certain medical examination with negligible side effects. He underwent the donation process on January 29. As per the protocol, the identity of the recipient is kept anonymous for a year, before a formal meeting is arranged by DATRI.


Charat was told that his donation had worked wonders for the patient who is on the way to recovery. “I am quite eager to meet him as and when norms permit,” he added.


DATRI has over 3,95,000 potential volunteer donors registered and only 526 donors have donated their life saving stem cells till today. Co-founder and CEO of DATRI Raghu Rajagopal said, “The need is really huge as the only chance to receive a second chance at life is with blood stem cell transplant. We have just 4,480 donors registered with us from the state. There is dire need to spread awareness.”