Cross Blood Foundation, (CBF) a registered charitable trust, was started in 1999 with an aim to help people in need of blood. Hemnath was a happy five year old until tragedy struck in 1993. He was diagnosed with Leukemia. Mrs. & Mr.N.L. Hari Haran were shattered. Hemnath was their first son. He succumbed to the disease. But the disease came as a "blessing in disguise" as the seed for Cross Blood Foundation was sown through this. CBF is involved in giving shared care services to children who are being treated for blood cancer and other Hematological and Oncological problems in Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children, Egmore and also other hospitals for almost 20 years. Periodical blood donation camps are conducted in various places to meet the demands of blood components for the children who are getting treatment in various hospitals. The foundation also helps in donating certain drugs for treating children with leukaemia and other blood disorders, as and when required. The foundation provides financial assistance for children with Thalassemia and Leukemia for medical and educational purposes..
CBF is involved in giving shared care services to children who are being treated for blood cancer and other Hematological and Oncological problems in Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children, Egmore and also other hospitals for almost 20 years. Periodical blood donation camps are conducted in various places to meet the demands of blood components for the children who are getting treatment in various hospitals. The foundation also helps in donating certain drugs for treating children with leukaemia and other blood disorders, as and when required. The foundation provides financial assistance for children with Thalassemia and Leukemia for medical and educational purposes.
To establish, promote, set-up, run, maintain, assist, finance, support blood banks, medical institutions, medical Camps, rehabilitation center for cancer patients.
To assist, support, finance the poor and needy cancer patients for their treatments and rehabilitation.
To provide education /medical service/other charitable services to the poor and needy.
To open, fund, establish, promote, set-up, run, maintain, assist, finance, support and /or running medical research /medical camps in the field of cancer and related disease for early diagnosis of the same.
To conduct camps, seminars, meetings, publicity for prevention and detection of cancer/ other terminal diseases and create an awareness of the same in general public.
To promote, administer, establish, support, maintain, and /or grant aid to any person, institution or society or organization whatsoever having for its objects similar to this trust in India irrespective of caste, creed, religion or gender.
Activity Area: Cross blood foundation is committed to serve cancer- affected children, people affected with terminal illness, and strive to be a good source for people seeking blood and its products to save lives. We involve in activities which is a combination of charitable, economically self-sustainable and spiritual programs to facilitate service to the people affected with terminal disease and work for good ambience and positive approach in their life, also enabling them a socially and economically self-reliant society. We always use participatory approach with direct involvement of the affected and local people in all our programs and projects.
Means: Cross blood foundation at all times live up to the moral principle of "Means are as important as the goals". All our activities will always be truthful and honest. We will at all times act honestly, ethically, morally and with the highest integrity. We will never use any untruthful means, to reach any of our program goals.
Contributions: Cross blood foundation will only accept voluntary contributions made in cash or in kind, provided such a contribution is in line with Cross blood foundation’s value system. We will never offer un-due favors to any of our contributors.
Affiliation: Cross blood foundation will never be aligned directly or indirectly with any specific political party. Cross blood foundation will never profess of our own or be governed by a specific political or religious ideology. The members of Cross blood foundation are free to pursue their own private life including political and spiritual affairs as long as it does not adversely affect or influence the activities of Cross blood foundation. .
Cross blood foundation extensively concentrates in the service of cancer affected children and also those affected by terminal illness. The concept of blood donation is our main agenda because it is this donation which is very much essential for those affected with cancer and other terminal diseases. We work for those children affected with thalassemia a type of cancer for which treatment is perineal and expensive.
Blood Bank Cross blood foundation is having a strong feel that an indigenous blood bank would be an ideal solution for the long run. As this would help us work towards stocking more blood in all forms. A mobile blood bank would be the best solution for sourcing blood from corporates as there is a lack of infrastructure to accommodate donors. Both the project put together would come up to around 2.5 crores. Our main challenge in 2016 would be to raise funds to this tune and make both the blood bank and mobile blood bank a reality.
Increase the volunteer base We would like to create a rapid volunteer base increasing activity at various levels and create healthy participatory programs where the volunteers could interact with affected children with cancer and those who are terminally ill. We would be creating a membership module and give them the option on which platform they could participate in. We would be eying at around 2000 by the end of 2018.
Ecommerce portal This is a new gen inclusion as the whole world is moving online we would be selling cancer awareness merchandise and handicrafts work of cancer affected children or individual, self-help groups(SHG’s) and destitute women. These ethnic products would fetch good value in the European and American market if we ae able to get fair trade certificate.
The types of cancers that occur most often in children are different from those seen in adults. The most common cancers of children are:
Leukaemias, which are cancers of the bone marrow and blood, are the most common childhood cancers. They account for about 30% of all cancers in children. The most common types in children are acute lymphocytic leukaemia (ALL) and acute myelogenous leukaemia (AML). These leukaemias can cause bone and joint pain, fatigue, weakness, pale skin, bleeding or bruising, fever, weight loss, and other symptoms. Acute leukaemia can grow quickly, so they need to be treated (typically with chemotherapy) as soon as they are found.
Brain and central nervous system tumours are the second most common cancers in children, making up about 26% of childhood cancers. There are many types of brain tumours and the treatment and outlook for each is different.
Most brain tumours in children start in the lower parts of the brain, such as the cerebellum or brain stem. They can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, blurred or double vision, dizziness, seizures, trouble walking or handling objects, and other symptoms. Adults are more likely to develop tumours in upper parts of the brain. Spinal cord tumours are less common than brain tumours in both children and adults.
Neuroblastoma starts in early forms of nerve cells found in a developing embryo or foetus. About 6% of childhood cancers are neuroblastomas. This type of cancer develops in infants and young children. It is rarely found in children older than 10. The tumour can start anywhere but usually starts in the belly (abdomen) where it is noticed as swelling. It can also cause bone pain and fever.
Wilms tumour (also called nephroblastoma) starts in one, or rarely, both kidneys. It is most often found in children about 3 to 4 years old, and is uncommon in children older than age 6. It can show up as a swelling or lump in the belly (abdomen). Sometimes the child might have other symptoms, like fever, pain, nausea, or poor appetite. Wilms tumour accounts for about 5% of childhood cancers.
Lymphomas start in immune system cells called lymphocytes. They most often start in lymph nodes and other lymph tissues, like the tonsils or thymus. These cancers can also affect the bone marrow and other organs. Symptoms depend on where the cancer is and can include weight loss, fever, sweats, tiredness (fatigue), and lumps (swollen lymph nodes) under the skin in the neck, armpit, or groin.
The 2 main types of lymphoma are Hodgkin lymphoma (sometimes called Hodgkin disease) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Both types occur in children and adults.
Hodgkin lymphoma accounts for about 3% of childhood cancers. It is more common, though, in early adulthood (age 15 to 40, usually people in their 20s) and late adulthood (after age 55). Hodgkin lymphoma is rare in children younger than 5 years of age. This type of cancer is very similar in children and adults, including which types of treatment work best.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma makes up about 5% of childhood cancers. It is more likely to occur in younger children than Hodgkin lymphoma, but it is still rare in children younger than 3. The most common types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in children are different from those in adults. These cancers often grow quickly and require intensive treatment, but they also tend to respond better to treatment than most non-Hodgkin lymphomas in adults.
Rhabdomyosarcoma starts in cells that normally develop into skeletal muscles. (These are the muscles that we control to move parts of our body.) This type of cancer can start nearly any place in the body, including the head and neck, groin, belly (abdomen), pelvis, or in an arm or leg. It may cause pain, swelling (a lump), or both. This is the most common type of soft tissue sarcoma in children. It makes up about 3% of childhood cancers.
Retinoblastoma is a cancer of the eye. It accounts for about 2% of childhood cancers. It usually occurs in children around the age of 2, and is seldom found in children older than 6. Retinoblastomas are usually found because a parent or doctor notices a child’s eye looks unusual. Normally when you shine a light in a child’s eye, the pupil (the dark spot in the centre of the eye) looks red because of the blood in vessels in the back of the eye. In an eye with retinoblastoma, the pupil often looks white or pink. This white glare of the eye may be noticed after a flash picture is taken.
Cancers that start in the bones (primary bone cancers) occur most often in older children and teens, but they can develop at any age. They account for about 3% of childhood cancers.
Two main types of primary bone cancers occur in children:
Osteosarcoma is most common in teens, and usually develops in areas where the bone is growing quickly, such as near the ends of the long bones in the legs or arms. It often causes bone pain that gets worse at night or with activity. It can also cause swelling in the area around the bone.
Ewing sarcoma is a less common type of bone cancer, which can also cause bone pain and swelling. It is most often found in young teens. The most common places for it to start are the pelvic (hip) bones, the chest wall (such as the ribs or shoulder blades), or in the middle of the long leg bones.
Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder that affects the body's ability to produce haemoglobin and red blood cells.
A person with Thalassemia will have too few red blood cells and too little haemoglobin, and the red blood cells may be too small.The impact can range from mild to severe and life-threatening.
Around 100,000 newborns are delivered each year with severe forms of Thalassemia. It is most common with Mediterranean, South Asian, and African ancestry.
The symptoms of Thalassemia vary depending on the type of Thalassemia. Symptoms will not show until the age of 6 months in most infants with beta Thalassemia and some types of alpha Thalassemia. This is because neonates have a different type of haemoglobin, called foetal haemoglobin.
After 6 months "normal" haemoglobin starts replacing the foetal type, and symptoms may begin to appear.
• jaundice and pale skin
• drowsiness and fatigue
• chest pain
• cold hands and feet
• shortness of breath
• leg cramps
• rapid heart beat
• poor feeding
• delayed growth
• dizziness and faintness
• greater susceptibility to infections
• Skeletal deformities may result as the body tries to produce more bone marrow.
If there is too much iron, the body will try to absorb more iron to compensate. Iron may also accumulate from blood transfusions. Excessive iron can harm the spleen, heart, and liver.
Patients with haemoglobin H are more likely to develop gallstones and an enlarged spleen.
Untreated, the complications of Thalassemia can lead to organ failure.
Treatment depends on the type and severity of Thalassemia.
Regular blood transfusions may be necessary for people with some types of Thalassemia.
Blood transfusions: These can replenish haemoglobin and red blood cell levels. Patients with Thalassemia major will need between eight and twelve transfusions a year. Those with less severe Thalassemia will need up to eight transfusions each year, or more in times of stress, illness, or infection.
Iron chelation: This involves removing excess iron from the bloodstream. Sometimes blood transfusions can cause iron overload. This can damage the heart and other organs. Patients may be prescribed deferoxamine, a medication that is injected under the skin, or deferasirox, taken by mouth.
Patients who receive blood transfusions and chelation may also need folic acid supplements. These help the red blood cells develop.
Bone marrow, or stem cell, transplant: Bone marrow cells produce red and white blood cells, haemoglobin, and platelets. A transplant from a compatible donor may be an effective treatment, in severe cases.
Surgery: This may be necessary to correct bone abnormalities.
Gene therapy: Scientists are investigating genetic techniques to treat Thalassemia. Possibilities include inserting a normal beta-globin gene into the patient's bone marrow, or using drugs to reactivate the genes that produce foetal haemoglobin.
The protein haemoglobin transports oxygen around the body in blood cells. Bone marrow uses the iron we get from food to make haemoglobin.
In people with Thalassemia, the bone marrow does not produce enough healthy haemoglobin or red blood cells. In some types this leads to a lack of oxygen, resulting in anaemia and fatigue.
People with mild Thalassemia may not require any treatment, but more severe forms will necessitate regular blood transfusions.
Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder.
Most children with moderate to severe Thalassemia receive a diagnosis by the time they are 2 years old.
People with no symptoms may not realize that they are carriers until they have a child with Thalassemia.
Blood tests can detect if a person is a carrier or if they have Thalassemia.
A complete blood count (CBC): This can check levels of haemoglobin and the level and size of red blood cells.
A reticulocyte count: This measures how fast red blood cells, or reticulocytes, are produced and released by the bone marrow. Reticulocytes usually spend around 2 days in the bloodstream before developing into mature red blood cells. Between 1 and 2 percent of a healthy person's red blood cells are reticulocytes.
Iron: This will help the doctor determine the cause of anaemia, whether Thalassemia or iron deficiency. In Thalassemia, iron deficiency is not the cause.
Genetic testing: DNA analysis will show whether a person has Thalassemia or faulty genes.
Prenatal testing: This can show whether a foetus has Thalassemia, and how severe it might be.
• Chorionic villus sampling (CVS): a piece of placenta is removed for testing, usually around the 11th week of pregnancy.
• Amniocentesis: a small sample of amniotic fluid is taken for testing, usually during the 16th week of pregnancy. Amniotic fluid is the fluid that surrounds the foetus.
Complications Various complications can arise.
This may be due to the frequent blood transfusions or the disease itself.
Iron overload raises the risk of hepatitis, (swollen liver), fibrosis (scarring in the liver), and cirrhosis, or progressive liver damage due to scarring.
The endocrine glands produce hormones. The pituitary gland is particularly sensitive to iron overload. Damage may lead to delayed puberty and restricted growth. Later, there may be a higher risk of developing diabetes and either an underactive or overactive thyroid gland.
Iron overload also increases the risk of arrhythmias, or abnormal heart rhythms, and congestive heart failure.
Sometimes, a blood transfusion will trigger a reaction where the person's immune system reacts to the new blood and tries to destroy it. It is important to have the exact blood type match to prevent this kind of problem.
The spleen recycles red blood cells. In Thalassemia, the red blood cells may have an abnormal shape, making it harder for the spleen to recycle them. The cells accumulate in the spleen, making it grow.
An enlarged spleen can become overactive. It can start to destroy the healthy blood cells the patient receives during transfusions. Sometimes, a patient may need a splenectomy, or surgical removal of the spleen. This is now less common, because removing the spleen can lead to other complications.
Removing the spleen leads to a higher chance of infection, and regular transfusions increase the risk of contracting a blood-borne disease.
In some cases, the bone marrow expands, deforming the bone around it, especially the bones of the skull and face. The bone can become brittle, increasing the risk of fracture.
Living with Thalassemia
Depending on the type of Thalassemia, constant medical care may be necessary to manage the condition effectively. Those receiving transfusions must be sure to follow their transfusion and chelation schedule.
A healthful diet and exercise are important, but patients should check with their doctors about how much iron-rich food, such as spinach, to consume. People with Thalassemia are advised to:
• attend all their regular appointments
• maintain contact with friends and support networks, to help keep a positive attitude
• follow a healthy diet to maintain good health
• get a suitable amount of exercise
Some foods, such as spinach or iron-enriched cereals, may have to be avoided, to prevent excessive iron buildup. Patients should discuss dietary and exercise options with their doctor.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urge people with Thalassemia to keep their vaccinations up to date, to prevent illness.
This is especially important for those who receive transfusions, as they have a higher risk of contracting hepatitis A or B.
In India alone, there are about 12,000 infants being born every year with this disorder. Their survival depends solely on the blood transfusions and various medications which they need to take once every 4-6 weeks, failure to which would lead to various complications resulting in death. The medical care involved with this disorder takes a toll on their physical, mental and financial capacities. With 22% of the Indian population officially below the poverty line and still a lot more struggling to make ends meet, it is definitely an extra burden to bear the financial expenses of this disorder.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BLOOD DONATION AND THE NEED TO DONATE:
Blood donation is a voluntary process where volunteers provide their blood for a community supply. It is crucially important for any country to advance its blood transfusion system to ensure regular, safe and sustainable blood supply. It is rather important therefore that every individual is aware of blood donation basics and fully understand the vital importance of the whole process. Often, the amount of donated blood, even few millilitres, can save other person’s life; therefore it is necessary to have appropriate donors at hand in case of emergency. To a great extent, donating blood is regarded as a gift of life since giving our blood to other people we often save their lives. Therefore, every healthy individual should be ready to donate his/her blood in case of necessity or urgency. Donating blood is a safe process while sterile needles and bags are applied to collect blood and therefore the infection spread to the donor is impossible. The practice of blood donation is widespread worldwide, and the 14th of June is acclaimed as the World Blood Donor Day. The promotion of unpaid blood donation is mandatory. Blood is perceived as the most precious gift under certain situations, and therefore blood donation is certainly an act of human dignity. However, there are too many people unaware of the blood donation procedure and therefore cannot help others even if they can. This indicates that large international organizations should mainly emphasize on the awareness to encourage people to facilitate their communities as donors. A blood donation occurs when a person voluntarily has blood drawn and used for transfusions. Donation may be of whole blood or of specific components. Blood donation is one of the most significant contributions that a person can make towards the society. It is not harmful for an adult person to donate blood. Blood donation is our human duty. Our body does not get affected if we donate blood. The body can repair the loss within a few days. So we must come forward to donate blood as it can return a dying man again into the light of life.
According to the Indian red cross society, the blood donation statistics of India is not too good. Although over 88 million units of blood are collected the world over it is still not sufficient for the 6,910 million world population which requires 150 million units annually. In some developed countries the number of voluntary blood donors is very high, like Switzerland where number of voluntary blood donors per 1,000 population figures is 113 and in Japan, it is 70 but in India it is still very low, 8 for every 1,000 population. Against an annual demand of 12 million units, India is able to collect only 9 million units of which 70% is from voluntary blood donors while the remaining 30% is from family/replacement donors. The Indian Red Cross Society has 166 blood banks all over the country, where the voluntary blood donation is 90% .According to official statistics, our nation requires 4crore units of blood and only 40lakh units are actually available. A global statistic states that more than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day in order to balance the deficit. As for blood components, about 30 million components are transfused each year, the average red blood cell transfusion is approximately 3 pints. The most common blood group required and present in 40 percent of the population is type O. One of the most uncommon blood groups with only 7 percent of people in India having this blood type is the O-negative blood group. People with this blood group are universal donors as their blood can be given to people of all blood types. In certain cases where the person’s blood type is unknown or in cases of new born, type O negative is needed. As for the AB blood type, they are universal donors of plasma (pale yellow part of blood in which the blood cells are suspended) and are vital in cases of emergencies, newborns and for patients requiring massive transfusion.
BLOOD DONATION CRITERIA:
Receiving blood from another individual during an emergency can save an individual’s life. It is life giving. But in order to enjoy the full benefits of the transfusion, it is necessary to make sure that the Blood is of good quality. In India there are various criteria to avoid various complications.
• Overall health- The donor must be fit and healthy, and should not be suffering from transmittable diseases.
• Age and weight- The donor must be 18–65 years old and should weigh a minimum of 50 kg.
• Pulse rate- Between 50 and 100 without irregularities.
• Haemoglobin level- A minimum of 12.5 g/dL.
• Blood pressure- Diastolic: 50–100 mm Hg, Systolic: 100–180 mm Hg.
• Body temperature- Should be normal, with an oral temperature not exceeding 37.5 °C.
• The time period between successive blood donations should be more than 3 months.
Individuals under certain conditions are deemed ineligible to donate blood:
• A person who has been tested HIV positive.
• Individuals suffering from ailments like cardiac arrest, hypertension, blood pressure, cancer, epilepsy, kidney ailments and diabetes.
• A person who has undergone ear/body piercing or tattoo in the past 6 months.
• Individuals who have undergone immunization in the past 1 month.
• Individuals treated for rabies or received Hepatitis B vaccine in the past 6 months.
• A person who has consumed alcohol in the past 24 hours.
• Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
• Individuals who have undergone major dental procedures or general surgeries in the past 1 month.
• Women who have had miscarriage in the past 6 months.
• Individuals who have had fits, tuberculosis, asthma and allergic disorders in the past.
(President of CBF) 5/23, Thaima Nagar, Thathankuppam, Villivakkam, Chennai-49
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