Man with a rare blood group saves 30 lives

Man with a rare blood group saves 30 livesGanesh Lokhande from Shikrapur village, Pune, after donating Bombay blood group in Visakhapatnam.

This is not the first time Ganesh Lokhande has made someone in dire need of his rare blood phenotype immensely happy.

Visakhapatnam: This is not the first time Ganesh Lokhande has made someone in dire need of his rare blood phenotype immensely happy. But every time he meets a patient to donate Bombay blood group, a sense of contentment envelops him.

With the rare blood type which only 200 people in India reportedly possess, Lokhande says he just could not stop himself from lending support whenever he receives a call from a blood bank representative or a relative of a patient seeking help.

For Lokhande, the journey of saving lives by donating his rare blood type began at the age of 18 years. "I lost my close friend in an accident when his family could not trace a donor with the same phenotype. That's when I decided to make a difference in someone's life," shares the 33-year-old entrepreneur from Shikrapur village, Pune.

Though it's his maiden trip to Visakhapatnam, Lokhande has essayed the Good Samaritan role of a donor 30 times earlier, reaching out to patients in Nashik, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Ahmedebad apart from Pune all at his own expense. "Though I come from a middleclass family, I don't accept any amount from people for travel. When you do good to others, good things will happen to you. I strongly believe in that theory. So what if I shell out part of my earnings to save a life. I will make do next month for the extra expenditure incurred," he reasons.

Initially, his family was not too open to the idea of blood donation. "However, when I explained the rare phenotype I have, its limited availability in blood banks to my wife and the positive vibes that come along with saving lives, she stopped questioning me," he says.

When Life Share Blood Bank staff came across Lokhande through social media groups, he responded quickly and agreed to reach out to the patient M Sangeeta. Sharing his experience, he says, "Vizag is so clean and beautiful. People here are kind and helpful as well and I look forward to revisiting the city."

He says that he is part of a network that connects donors with rare blood group and suggests that every city should have such groups that aid in saving lives in times of emergency.

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