Originally published in the Toronto Star
Paramedics and other emergency workers are asking healthy Canadians to register as potential stem cell and bone marrow donors Monday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m at Yonge-Dundas Square.
“Fewer than 30 per cent of patients who need stem cell transplants find a compatible donor within their own families,” according to the Canadian Blood Services. “The rest rely on those who have volunteered to donate stem cells to anyone in need.”
To register, potential donors simply swab their inner cheeks and permit the results to be stored in a world-wide bone marrow and stem cell registry.
“The registry is 82 per cent Caucasian and so it is vitally important to get as many people possible from as wide a range of races and ethnicities as we can,” said Rob Ichelson, a Toronto paramedic.
The Canadian database is maintained by OneMatch, a branch of Canadian Blood Services that tries to match patients and donors.