With support from Simon Fraser University (SFU)’s LEAD group students, students from University of British Columbia's Stem Cell and Marrow Club and the South Asian community, OtherHalf's Vancouver Chapter conducted two stem cell drives at SFU's Surrey campus on February 20th and 25th, 2013 during the "Community Stem Cell Awareness Week" spanning from February 20th - 27th 2013 to add more young and ethnically diverse donors to the Canadian stem cell registry to benefit the needs of patients in need of stem cell transplantation.
The events were fully supported by the Province of British Columbia and the City of Surrey, with Surrey MLA Dave Hayer (1st photo: 5th from right, last row) and Surrey City Councilor Bruce Haynes (5th from left, last row) representing the Province and the City respectively at the event to proclaim February 20 - 27 as the "Community Stem Cell Awareness Week" to raise further awareness in the community.
Surrey-Tynehead MLA Dave Hayer's eldest son, Alexander Hayer (4th photo on left: left with his father MLA Dave Hayer on right) survived leukemia 10 years ago whilst being a student at SFU - a miracle made possible by stem cell donation and transplant. Read more in MLA Hayer's newsletter
Nearly 1,000 Canadians are now waiting for a stem cell match from an unrelated donor. Of the more than 330,000 Canadians currently registered on the network, 75 per cent are Caucasian and only 25 per cent are from Canada’s many diverse ethnic groups. There's an immediate need for more young male donors in the 17-35 age bracket from various ethnic backgrounds for better post-transplant results and fewer chances of transplant complications for the patients. A patient’s best chance of finding a match is within his/her own ethnic background, more young registrants, particularly males, from various ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to join OneMatch at www.OneMatch.ca