Sahas Mehra is 17 years old and resides in Mumbai. He loves football and enjoys reading and listening to music. He started off with his very first year in college but didn't get a chance to appear for his final exams. A month before his 17th birthday he was diagnosed with Philadelphia ALL, a high-risk blood cancer. What followed was hospital stays, transfers, complications and chemotherapy. But this was not enough. The family was told that a Bone Marrow Transplant would be essential to give him a chance to survive. There is no marrow match within the family. A Non-Related Allogenic transplant is recommended. The estimate letter provided by the hospital is for a minimum of Rs. 51 lakh (around $106250) , if complications don't occur. This is not something the family can afford. This blog is an attempt at creating awareness about his case because financial support for the transplant is needed on an urgent basis. We also hope to create awareness about the primary reason for the unaffordable cost of treatment - lack of a proper bone marrow registry in India.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sahas underwent the Bone Marrow Transplant earlier this week. These next few weeks are critical in determining how successful it was. There have been no problems so far and we are keeping our fingers crossed. 
Sahas will continue to be at the hospital for a few months. Our one requirement now is for B group platelets which are required urgently this week. Please call 9892149805 if you wish to help.

We are very thankful to everyone for making this happen. We couldn't have seen this through without your support. We are thankful for the words of encouragement, the wishes, and of course, the financial help. The one thing we now request is for everyone to please pray for him.

We end 2010 with hope. Here's to 2011! We wish you all a splendid year full of joy, good health and happiness. :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sahas is now in Tata Hospital, Khargar. The Hickman catheter has been surgically inserted in his upper chest and he is in isolation, so no one is allowed to meet him. He is being prepared for the BMT, which should happen later this month. High-dose chemotherapy will be administered this week and after that the procedures of the transplant should begin.

We will be requiring B- platelets soon, as mentioned in the previous post. There seems to be a shortage of this blood group at the hospital at present. This could pose a problem over the next few weeks.

Our immediate requirement is for B+ blood. And after a week or so we will require B- blood and platelets. Blood can be donated immediately but platelet donation requires some testing in advance. Those willing to donate, please contact us on 9987410488 or 9892149805.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sahas was in Tata hospital the past few days for certain tests and pre-BMT procedures which could not be done last week on account of his throat infection. He returned home yesterday.

We will be requiring B-ve blood platelets in a few weeks for Sahas. Those willing to donate platelets need to be tested first at Tata Hospital, Khargar. Potential donors will then be informed a day before they would be required to donate because platelets cannot be stored for more than 5 days. Potential donors need to weigh at least 55 kgs and should not have had any major illness like TB in the past year. Willing donors may please contact Mrs. Mehra on 9987410488.

We have collected around 38L so far and things are looking up! We shall provide more updates as soon as we know when the transplant is expected to happen.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

An article on Sahas appeared in the Times of India dated 04-11-2010. A very big thank you to the people responsible for the splendid coverage of Sahas's case. Particularly Ms. Malathy Iyer, who studied his case in depth and put in a lot of effort in highlighting the BMT issue. An article on the problem of lack of support for marrow registries in India also appeared alongside.

Sahas has a sore throat and bad cough thanks to the pollution caused by crackers burst during Diwali. He needs to go in for certain pre-BMT procedures tomorrow but this might be delayed because of his low blood counts which are a result of the throat infection. We are hoping there won't be any further delays.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Chemotherapy is being administered to Sahas at a more frequent pace this week. Sahas's blood counts keep fluctuating, which is quite common in cancer patients. But low counts of certain blood cells or low levels of nutrients can be a problem as the doctor must then consider whether to proceed with chemotherapy for that week or not. This was a problem last week and chemotherapy could not be proceeded with. But his counts are ok now. 
For some time we have been including certain juices and nutritional supplements from Biogreen Healthcare and VEMMA in Sahas's diet. They do not interfere with his treatment in any way. At the same time they have helped keep his counts at close-to-normal levels most of the time.

As far as the bone marrow transplant is concerned, we would be requiring accomodation in Khargar near Tata Hospital probably at the end of this month. Someone from the family will be putting up there while Sahas is in hospital, so we are looking at renting a place in end November or December, possibly for a couple of months. Anyone who can help us out with information in this regard or is aware of a place for rent that can be made available to us for even 2-3 weeks in this period, please contact us on 99874 10488.

On the fund collection front, we are now touching close to Rs 28L thanks to the support of some people, particularly the generous contribution of Mr.Amitabh Bachchan, whose aid has brought us closer to our goal.

That's all for this week then. A very happy Diwali to you all! Hope you have a healthy, happy and fun year ahead!

Monday, October 25, 2010

I have been looking up certain registries in India which were founded in the past couple of years but according to the doctor these are inactive and cannot be tapped for potential donors. So we continue our search through Tata Hospital.

The doctor has made it clear that the one potential donor we have found after a long search could possibly be the only donor for Sahas so we can't delay on depositing the requisite amount. This brings us to the update on our fund status. Thanks to your generous contributions we have now collected around Rs.22 L (out of the total 51 L as per the estimate letter) so we are getting closer to the amount needed. Thank you for the continued support!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The transplant must be proceeded with as soon a possible because Sahas is presently at a stage where his body is temporarily cancer-free (the remission period). The pretransplant stage will involve certain procedures to prepare him for the consequent transplant. These procedures require him to be in a relatively good state of health. We cannot delay because we cannot be sure how the cancer will proceed from this point onward.

I request everyone to please post links to this blog on twitter, facebook, friendster etc.

We are thankful to Mumbai Mirror for putting in an appeal in the Thursday edition of their paper.  Here is a link to the e paper version: appeal/mumbaimirror

Please assist us in getting introduced to contacts in the Media industry (Newspapers, TV channels, Radio, etc). This will immensely help us in spreading the word about Sahas’s illness to a much larger audience and assist us in our fund collection efforts.

Meanwhile, on the fund front, out of the 40L ($176000) that we are targeting, we have collected 4.80L (around $21000). Thank you for your support everyone.