Donate your Bone marrow - A cancer Survivor says
Donate your Bone marrow - A cancer Survivor says | Credit: Aashim

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Donate your Bone marrow - A cancer Survivor says

Jul 26, 2018

Out heart beats fast when we hear the word “cancer”. Being a chronic disease it has no bias on anyone and affects people of all ages. While the research has proved the habits and other criteria that cause cancer, the actual root cause is still unknown. Here’s the journey of Aashim Joy who had been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia cancer (ALL). This cancer affects the blood and the bone marrow of a person, the worst part is that this was combined with a gene mutation called Positive Philadelphia Chromosome.

Aashim is a Malayali Christian boy from Delhi, fell in love with Reema, a Punjabi Sikh girl from London. Aashim completed his masters and returned to India is 2012. A few months later, in 2013 he moved back to Hyderabad in London to stay connected with Reema. 

They both became very close and that’s when the serious turns of marriage took place. Convincing their family was not very easy and after 2 years of struggle, they got married. Aashim and Reema moved to New York as he got a job as an actuarial consultant in Deloitte. They were living a happy life until May 2017, when Aashim started experiencing sudden fever and headaches. The intensity was increasing as the days passed by, but he did not think of consulting a doctor, as it was difficult to get a doctor appointment in the US.

In July, Aaashim’s parents had come to see him, as he had fallen sick again. They then rushed to the local clinic and took all the necessary blood tests. On July 8th, Aashim got a call from the local clinic and was asked to go to the emergency department immediately.

When the results showed positive for cancer, it was a complete shock for his wife Reema, their family and him, but the doctors told that it was early stage and it is curable. Thank god, the doctors caught cancer early before it affects the organs adversely.

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia cancer (ALL) occurs when the cells in the bone marrows develop some problems in its DNA. This lead to an abnormal blood cell production that keeps dividing and growing itself. 

These abnormal cells eliminate the healthy cells making the condition even worse and the only option is transplantation of bone marrow. He was put to chemotherapy till they found a perfect matching bone marrow.

From the time the cancer was diagnosed, Aashim, Reema and their families were in search of bone marrow donors and spreading awareness and conducting drives around India and United States. They also started working with ICLA, a non-profit organisation in the United States and Datri from Chennai. They conducted many drives and kept moving to Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi.

During these drives, Aashim came to know that making a person understand the prospect of donating an organ is very difficult and a lot of perspectives has to be changed in the mind of the people. They found a perfect match and Aashim is still striving hard to come out of this roller coaster ride.

By donating an organ we are saving lives of many people. Donating an organ isn’t going to be painful and everyone should understand the importance of organ donation. As a result of various drives conducted, Aashim and Reema were able to help in transforming many peoples life.

They also helped a 5-year-old child get his organ transplanted. With the continuous support of his wife Reema, his parents, his sisters and Reema’s mom who frequently flies to the US to take care of him, Aashim is being a cancer warrior now. Above all these things, it is the positive thinking that Aashim holds that has made him successful in this tough phase of life.