Shanghai man donates stem cells, saving twins with rare disease

Cai Wenjun
A Shanghai man has donated his stem cells, in a Red Cross initiative. His donation matched with a pair of twins suffering from a rare disease, and will be put to use immediately.
Cai Wenjun

The city's 595th stem cell donation was fulfilled on Monday, which also marked the city's first case of stem cells from one donor saving a pair of twins with a rare disease.

The 28-year-old donor, Cao Shufeng, registered to participate in the stem cell donor bank in 2021.

He was informed by officials from the local Red Cross, which runs the donor bank, in April that his sample is a match. He agreed to give a donation immediately.

"It was my birthday when I was informed about the news. I think it's magic, destiny," he said.

Shanghai man donates stem cells, saving twins with rare disease
Ti Gong

Cao Shufeng donates stem cell on Monday to save a pair of twins with rare disease.

The donation process isn't always smooth, and one of Cao's health checkup data failed to meet standards, so the donation had to be suspend. After knowing he matched with a pair of twins with a rare disease, Cao was concerned about their health and began a regime of physical exercise.

He managed to pass the health check in late August and started preparation for stem cell donation.

The donation at Renji Hospital was a success. The 200-milliliter stem cell is to be sent to the twins for treatment immediately.

Cao sent his best wishes to the sick twins and hope they will regain their health soon and grow up happily.

According to Dr Hou Jian, director of the hematology department at Renji Hospital, stem cells are mainly used for treating blood diseases. The treatment targeting the rare disease this time is a new clinical trial with significant meaning.

According to the Red Cross Society of China Shanghai Branch, the city started its non-relative stem cell donation program in the early 1990s. So far, there are 170,000 registered donors in the bank. A total of 595 people have realized donation, including 23 patients in China's Hong Kong and Taiwan and other countries of the United States, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Germany.

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