More than 80 diseases and disorders can be treated with a stem cell transplant, and only 25 per cent of patients find a match for this lifesaving treatment within their family. Stem cells often come from compassionate strangers who volunteer to donate their stem cells if they are a match for a patient in need. However, only half of the hundreds of Canadians waiting for a stem cell transplant typically find a match. The more ethnically diverse someone’s background is, the harder it can be to find a matching donor and, currently, only 32 per cent of Canadian Blood Services’ stem cell registrants are from diverse ancestry.
That’s why your support matters.
By pledging to join the stem cell registry, and encouraging others to do the same, you increase the likelihood of more successful stem cell matches. Pledging to join the registry isn’t the only way you can make a difference. Financial donations help us invest in education and recruitment initiatives and innovative new technologies that make more matches and more lifesaving transplants — happen faster.
Read more about some of the grateful recipients and generous donors who helped save lives below.
When Roshlind was 16, she needed a lifesaving stem cell transplant. Five months later, a match with an anonymous donor saved her life.
After Mackenzie’s life was saved by bone marrow transplant, she had a mission to inspire others to become donors — and then Robbie answered the call.
Watch Robbie and Mackenzie talk about the power of stem cell donors.
Years after joining the national stem cell registry, Melissa got a call saying she was a match. Because the best chance of a match is within one’s own ethnic community, she understood that the patient was likely another Indigenous person.
After being diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer, Tom received over 30 blood transfusions and one lifesaving stem cell transplant. Today, he is a proud financial donor.
Watch how Tom’s own gift of life turned into a gift for others.