Swabbing cheeks to save lives

Vineet Singal talks about how a group of 12 inexperienced, but infectiously enthusiastic students from Stanford managed to get more than 100,000 people to register as bone marrow donors, and conducted a campaign aimed at saving entrepreneur Amit Gupta's life.

Recorded at INK2011, Jaipur, India


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About the Speaker


Vineet Singal

Executive Director, 100KCheeks campaign

Named by The Huffington Post as one of the "Top 10 Changemakers Under 40", Vineet Singal is a senior at Stanford University and leads 100KCheeks, an initiative to register 100,000 new bone marrow donors using the power of personal stories and social media.

In working closely with Professor Jennifer Aaker at Stanford Graduate School of Business and a team of 12 dedicated Stanford students, Vineet helped 100KCheeks reach its goal in 1 year. Vineet is currently leading efforts to register a million bone marrow donors worldwide in 2012 and jumpstart the creation of national marrow registries in countries like India and Indonesia.

Vineet wants to use his skills as a social entrepreneur and future physician to fight for greater access to quality and affordable healthcare for the underserved. His resolve solidified in Galveston, TX during the fall of 2009, when he took a leave of absence from Stanford to volunteer full time at St. Vincent’s free clinic. Back at Stanford, Vineet co-founded Anjna, a national nonprofit organization that aims to utilize technology at free clinics. Vineet helped build a network of 250+ undergraduates, medical students and faculty and is leading efforts to create health education programs at free clinics in high need areas nationwide, in addition to conducting groundbreaking pilot studies on utilizing interactive, tablet based education and SMS technology at clinics in the bay area.

Vineet has delivered talks on his social entrepreneurship work at Stanford Business School, Techonomy, TEDxTampaBay, Medicine 2.0 and at other various conferences and events. His work has been featured in Forbes, New York Times, Huffington Post, PBS, AdAge and the Clinton Global Initiative University among others.

He has completed and published research projects at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, Stanford University School of Medicine and the Mayo Clinic and has received research awards from Intel, the College Board, Sigma Xi, the Irene and Eric Simon Foundation and the National Cancer Institute. In 2011, Vineet was awarded the Barry M. Goldwater scholarship, a prestigious national award conferred to undergraduates studying the sciences. Vineet is an Staples/Ashoka Global Youth Social Entrepreneur, Ashoka Youth Venture Fellow, Donald A. Strauss Scholar, a Haas Public Service Fellow, a DoSomething/AT&T Fellow and a Pearson Prize Fellow. Vineet serves on the Stanford University Board of Trustees and on the board of directors for Clinic by the Bay, a Volunteers in Medicine affiliated free clinic in San Francisco.

PERSONAL JOURNEY
Being a foreigner and stranger has defined my upbringing; I may well be one of the only people who has bathed in the Ganges, been taken hostage in a Saudi terrorist attack and walked the Lord of the Rings trail.

I vividly recall trying to protect my mother from the Saudi policeman's whips (her hair wasn't completely covered) or being physically and verbally harassed for having an Indian accent at the all boys' high school I attended in New Zealand. However, I never ran away from who I was even in the face of physical intimidation.

When my family moved to the Bronx, I was yet again a foreigner, this time to America’s educational system and culture. However, I felt welcome in the United States. Graduating as my high school’s valedictorian and one of the top debaters in the country imbued me in perseverance and an ethic of compassion learned in adversity.

My experiences instill in me incessant empathy for my future patients, and an unyielding belief that no matter our differences, the things that unite us and bring us together are stronger and far outnumber those that drive us apart.

WEBSITE
www.gsb.stanford.edu/phi/students/experiential

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