Stem cell donors needed for Indian American man battling aggressive blood cancer

The Pati family, from left, Manish Pati, Nibedita Pati, Amrut Pati and Mahesh Pati. 

A Connecticut-based Indian American family is looking for stem cell donors for Mahesh Pati, who was recently diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), an aggressive form of blood cancer. Pati, a loving father and husband is known to be active in the community both as a teacher, and in his service work as the president of a local chapter of the Satya Sai organization.

Pati, who is from Orissa in India, is undergoing chemotherapy, but needs a stem cell transplant to sustain beyond the next few months. Pati’s diagnosis came a day after hosting a private reception for his son’s marriage. “He [Pati] will die unless he gets a stem cell transplant in the next few months,” his family says.

According to his son Amrut Pati, his dad “is the best father one could ask for. He's warm, gentle, and always there for us to give us hope, confidence and inspiration.” Pati, who received a PhD from Case Western in 1985, worked his way up the ladder to an executive consultant at IBM. “He came to this country with a vision to love his family and give them every opportunity and set an example through hard work, dedication, and integrity,” Amrut Pati says. “Prior to his diagnosis, my Dad had made plans with my beautiful mom, Nibedita -- they have dreams of living in better weather, traveling the world, and spending more time with family and friends.”

To find a matching donor, the family says it needs to register as many South Asians as possible because a match is based on ethnicity and ancestry. Indians are severely under- represented in the donor registry; less than 2 percent of the registry is South Asian.

The family aims to add 20,000 South Asians to the registry between the U.S. and India. “We are on a tight timeline we need drives &and registrations to be set up over the next two to three weeks,” the family says.

Registration as a stem cell donor is easy. It requires a simple cheek swab and filling out some forms. If selected to donate, the procedure is simple and comparable to that of donating blood. People who donate go back to regular life the next day. Registration is free for anyone ages 18-45 in the U.S. If you can be done online and a kit will be mailed to you and you can send it back =To register please go to the appropriate page:

Ages 18-35: https://www.giftoflife.org/dc/Swab4Mahesh

Ages 35-45: https://join.bethematch.org/Swab4Mahesh

Ages 45-60: https://www.giftoflife.org/dc/Swab4Mahesh

If you live in India: https://datri.org/join/

The family is also asking South Asian Americans to spread the world and volunteer to host a drive.

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