The family of Dr. “H” Sundaresh is hosting a bone marrow drive on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at Cleveland State University from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dr. “H,” as he’s known because his family says his first name is too hard to pronounce, just retired at the age of 75 after practicing medicine as a pediatrician in the Cleveland area for over 40 years.
In June, six months after his retirement, Dr. H was diagnosed with a blood cancer and was told he has a year to live – unless he can find a suitable bone marrow match for a transplant.
“As the transplant doctor put it, it is like finding a needle in a haystack. There is one match out of every 450 patients that need a transplant,” describes Dr. Shaila Sundaresh, Dr. H’s wife.
Dr. H’s daughter began organizing bone marrow donor drives, calling them “Swab for Sundaresh.”
A simple swabbing of the inside of the mouth is all that’s needed for someone to be processed into the national bone marrow donor registry.
Through the process Dr. H’s family found out how underrepresented minorities are in the donor process.
“Minorities, in general, are underrepresented – it could be Asians. It could be African Americans. It could be Hispanics. They are underrepresented in the national registry,” added Dr. Shaila Sundaresh.
While Dr. H waits for a possible match – his health is stable, but nobody knows for sure how long.
Over 500 have let themselves be swabbed to see if they could save a life.
“It is people like this that have been completely inspiring and have touched our family,” said Dr. H’s daughter, Neeti Sundaresh, as she looked at the steady stream of people who came to a Case Western Reserve University bone marrow drive on Wednesday.
If you are interested in being on the Bone Marrow registry, but can’t make it to a live donor event, click here and you can have a donor kit sent to your home:
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