Young thalassemia survivor meets German donor 

In a stem cell transplantation, healthy blood stem cells from a matching donor are infused into the patient to help resume healthy blood production

Updated - May 11, 2024 11:31 am IST

Published - May 08, 2024 10:07 pm IST - Bengaluru

Chirag with Roman Simnizki.

Chirag with Roman Simnizki. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 17-year-old Chirag, a thalassemia survivor from India, finally met the man who gave him a second chance at life – his stem cell donor, Roman Simnizki from Germany. Chirag battled thalassemia, a genetic blood disorder that significantly impacts patients’ quality of life. For almost ten years, the family searched for an unrelated donor, until 2016 when they came across  Roman, a 29-year-old from Münsingen, Germany, through the DKMS database, who was a perfect match.

Roman, who travelled to India to meet Chirag echoed the sentiment. “There’s no greater joy than knowing you’ve helped someone in need. Seeing Chirag healthy and full of life is the biggest reward.”

According to the release, Chirag, now free from the limitations of thalassemia, can dream of a bright future. Chirag’s parents, who witnessed their son’s struggle and eventual recovery, expressed their heartfelt appreciation to Roman for his selfless act.

Chirag’s treating physician, Dr. Revathi Raj, Paediatric Haematologist, at Apollo Hospitals Chennai, said, “Beta-thalassemia major is a severe form of the disease that requires regular blood transfusions and, potentially, a stem cell transplant for a cure. I am happy that today Chirag is recovered and a bright future awaits him.”

In a stem cell transplantation, healthy blood stem cells from a matching donor are infused into the patient to help resume healthy blood production.

Talking about the DKMS-BMST Thalassemia program, Patrick Paul, CEO of DKMS-BMST,said, “ Under this program, DKMS-BMST collaborates with local NGOs and transplantation clinics to organise camps where pediatric thalassemia patients and their families travel from far places, sometimes from very remote places in India, to give buccal swab samples for HLA typing. Samples from the camps are analysed in the DKMS laboratory based out of Germany and clinical matching reports of the same are provided.”

 If you’re eligible, register as a blood stem cell donor by ordering your home swab kit at 

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.