Healthcare Tips

University Students Unite To Offer Hope To Those In Need Of Stem Cell Transplants - Canadian Blood Services

June 14, 2017

University students, professors, staff, and community members will be participating in a cross-country stem cell swabbing event this fall, in the hopes of adding hundreds of new registrants to the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network.

The event, called 'Get Swabbed,' will be taking place at more than a dozen university campuses between Nov. 1 and 17 and will invite participants to register to become potential blood stem cell donors through our national stem cell registry - OneMatch.

Led by university student groups, the idea of a university challenge first began last fall with an event created by McMaster University student Dustin Shulman. After reading about the need for more stem cell donors in the news, Dustin decided to get his local fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi, on board and hosted a 24-hour event that helped add 754 new registrants to the national network.

News of the successful event spread and this year 15 schools are hosting similar events on their campuses. Currently, 265,876 Canadians are registered on the OneMatch network, and yet there are still nearly 800 patients searching for an unrelated stem cell donor.

- OneMatch needs to increase the number of registrants from all types of ethnic backgrounds. There is a disparity between Caucasian and ethnically-diverse communities on Canada's stem cell network. Of more than 260,000 Canadians currently registered with OneMatch, 82 per cent are Caucasian and only 18 per cent are from Canada's many diverse ethnic groups.

- To accurately reflect the changing face of Canada, we need more potential donors from diverse backgrounds such as the Jewish Community, Asians, South Asians, Southeast Asians, Blacks, Latin Americans, as well as Aboriginal Canadians.

- OneMatch is looking for people who are willing to donate stem cells and/or bone marrow to anyone in the world who may need this lifesaving gift. This includes the nearly 800 Canadians who await transplants so that they may survive diseases like leukemia, lymphoma, and many other serious cancers and blood diseases. People who are interested in helping to save anyone, anywhere can register for OneMatch online.

- 'Get Swabbed' events are taking place from Nov. 1-17 at university campuses including McMaster University, Carleton University, Ottawa University, Queens University, University of Guelph, University of Toronto-Missisauga, University of Toronto-Scarborough, University of Toronto-St. George, University of Western Ontario, University of Windsor, Waterloo University, Wilfred Laurier University, Algoma University, University of Alberta, and Memorial University.

Canadian Blood Services