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Help an ADA member with cancer find a cure

Illinois dentist needs stem cell transplant with the help of a donor

May 02, 2017

By Michelle Manchir


Seeking donor: Dr. Kapil Vij, right, was diagnosed earlier this year with a blood cancer and he needs a bone marrow transplant.
Glenview, Illinois — An ADA member is hoping a stranger can help save his life.

Dr. Kapil Vij, 45, a pediatric dentist from this Chicago suburb, was diagnosed earlier this year with myelofibrosis, a rare form of blood cancer, and the best chances for his long-term survival comes from a bone marrow transplant with a donor from the National Marrow Donor Program, his family said.

"This is urgent as his hemoglobin is dropping pretty fast despite blood transfusions," said Dr. Vij's brother, Dr. Rajesh Vij, who is a dentist in Ohio.

Dr. Kapil Vij is of South Asian (Indian) descent, and the pool of people from that ethnicity are underrepresented in the national bone marrow registry, Dr. Rajesh Vij said, making the need for others to join the registry vital.

"The process of bone marrow donation is very simple and painless and in most cases done by taking stem cells out of blood," said Dr. Rajesh Vij. "It only sounds scary, and it is a life saving deed."

Dr. Kapil Vij has two children and his wife, Neeru, is pregnant with their third. He is a former faculty member in pediatric dentistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry. He operates a dental practice in Mount Prospect, Illinois, another Chicago suburb.

Qualified potential donors, ages 18-44, can learn more and register for the national marrow donor program online by visiting https://join.bethematch.org/HOPE4KAPIL.

A second nonprofit, DKMS We Delete Blood Cancer, allows some marrow donors up to age 55.  Visit DKMS.org/register or to organize a drive or help register other potential donors, visit dkms.org/involved.

Dentists can also sign up to offer patients in their office the chance to join the registry. For more information on this program, email dental@DKMS.org or call 1-866-340-3567.

Those in or around Chicago can visit ADA Headquarters 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Central time May 24 during a bone marrow drive held in honor of Dr. Kapil Vij. For more information about the event, email Janice Lord, manager of the ADA Acceptance Program, at lordj@ada.org.

Dr. Rajesh Vij can be reached by email at Rvij1@hotmail.com.

The ADA urges members to support participation in the bone marrow matching program by providing appropriate literature in their offices, gathering samples and forwarding them for registration, according to a 2012 ADA House of Delegates resolution (Res. 162H-2012.)