Cross Blood Foundation comes in handy during medical emergencies.

Blood transfusion becomes inevitable in most of the cases related to accidents, surgeries or any medical emergencies. But ironically, one of the major problems faced during emergencies is the availability of blood. To help people who face this crisis, Cross Blood Foundation (CBF) was founded by N. L. Hariharan.

The loss of their five-year-old child Hemant made the couple — Hariharan and Banumathi — to take a step towards making other's life meaningful. “We found a way to overcome the demise of Hemant, who succumbed to leukaemia in 1993, by extending a helping hand to those suffering from blood disorders. We thus established CBF and began helping parents whose children suffer from cancer,” says Hariharan.

To start with, the foundation provided medicines, counselled the parents and arranged entertainment programmes for the ailing children at the Children's Hospital, Egmore. As it received a rousing response, it started involving in more meaningful activities.

Hariharan organised blood donation camps in various places in the State. He helped the needy to obtain blood components — blood platelets, plasma. CBF also established good contact with the department of haematology, Institute of Child Health and the Children's Hospital. Slowly many hospitals and clinics began approaching CBF for help. Whenever an emergency arose in the Government General Hospital, Maternity Hospital-Egmore, MMM-Anna Nagar, Apollo or any other leading hospital, the organisations found a great saviour in Hariharan. “If a patient is in need of six units of blood, I arrange for four and their relatives are motivated to donate the other two. This way we infuse awareness and make people appreciate the importance of blood donation,” says Mr. Hariharan.

“Way back in the 90s, there were not many donors and awareness about donation was low. Even now, in the rural areas, people are under the impression that it is life-threatening to donate blood. Slowly we are trying to change their views and in urban areas the awareness has increased.” Every three to four months about 300 to 400 donors turn up to the blood banks and give a call to find out if there are any emergencies, he added.

CBF is also committed to serve children suffering from leukaemia and regularly conducts awareness camps in educational institutions, IT companies, welfare associations, Corporation offices and churches.

Every year on December 13 Hariharan's family would join the Christmas celebrations at the Children's Hospital. With the help of philanthropists they would distribute bed sheets, toys, biscuits and fruits to children of the IX floor (blood disorder and cancer ward) and cardio therapy ward.

The CBF has adopted children such as Madhu (suffering from Thalassemia) and provide them blood periodically for treatment. Their ability to arrange for blood within 24 hours went a long way in saving the life a new born at MMM Hospital, which had to undergo a rare heart surgery.

“This way we have helped over 20 children. If we have a CSR support we would find it easy to go ahead with our future plan of setting up a hospital specialising in paediatric haematology to help the needy,” says Mr. Hariharan.

The CBF is looking for blood donars and blood donation camp organisers. Those interested can contact 5/23, Amman Koil Street, Thathankuppam, Villivakkam. Ph: 2650 5001 / 97908 33330 / 98408 40059. Email: crossbloodfoundation@gmail.com

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