It only takes a few minutes to save a life.
Earlier this year, Kapil Vij, DDS, of Illinois was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer known as myelofibrosis. The best chances for his long-term survival require a bone marrow transplant. But Vij is of South Asian descent, an underrepresented ethnicity in the national bone marrow registry. Now, the ADA has joined his family to find potential donors.
“This is urgent as his hemoglobin is dropping pretty fast despite blood transfusions,” said his brother, Rajesh Vij, DDS. “The process or bone marrow donation is very simple and painless, and in most cases done by taking stem cells out of blood. It only sounds scary, and it is a lifesaving deed.”
Vij has 2 children and his wife, Neeru, is pregnant with their third. He is a former faculty member in pediatric dentistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry. He operates a dental practice in Mount Prospect, Ill, a Chicago suburb.
Qualified potential donors between the ages of 18 and 44 years can learn more and register for the Be the Match national marrow donor program online. According to Be the Match, younger donors provide the greatest chance for success. The process, involving a series of questions including a brief medical history and contact information, takes approximately 10 minutes.
The DKMS We Delete Blood Cancer online registration program allows some marrow donors up to the age of 55 years and offers support for those who want to organize a drive. Plus, DKMS encourages dentists to sign up to offer patients in their office a chance to join its registry. For more information, email email@example.com or call (866) 340-3567.
Those in or around Chicago can visit ADA Headquarters between 9 am and 3 pm Central Time on Wednesday, May 24 to take part in a bone marrow drive held to benefit Vij. For more information about the event, email Janice Lord, manager of the ADA Acceptance Program, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Vij may be reached by email at email@example.com.