New event looks to sign on stem cell donors

NANAIMO – VIU nursing students aim to improve national network.

A new Nanaimo event aims to raise the odds of matching patients and stem cell donors.

The One Match swabbing event will be hosted Friday (March 27) at Country Club Centre by Vancouver Island University nursing students and Canadian Blood Services to find new donors to sign on to Canada’s stem cell donor network.

Chris Barron, Canadian Blood Services’ territory manager for Vancouver Island, says this is the first big push in Nanaimo for potential donors to the One Match Stem Cell and Marrow Network – a list that isn’t currently broad enough.

The data bank, part of an international network of registries, is all about matching volunteer donors with patients who suffer from blood-related disease like leukemia, or inherited immune system disorders and need stem cell transplants.

Stem cells have to be an almost ‘genetic copy’ for donation and always come from the same ethnic group, according to Barron, who says the list doesn’t currently match the country’s multicultural society with 70 per cent of its donors Caucasian. Sixty per cent are also over the age of 35.

On Friday, Canadian Blood Services will be searching for donors of different ethnic backgrounds between the ages of 17 and 35. Nursing students will dole out information about the initiative and swab interested donors for the data bank.

“Our list isn’t broad enough right now. At any given day there’s over 1,000 patients waiting for someone to be a match for them and chances are they won’t find that match,” Barron said. “We need to find as many people and get them on that list as possible whether they be female, male, ethnic or Caucasian, or black or Asian or First Nations.

“We just need to make sure we have a large, viable list that is sustainable for Canada.”

Courtney Johnston, one of four VIU students participating at the event, pointed out that stem cells aren’t something that could be bought from a drug company, “so in order to fight some of these diseases we need community support.”

Potential donors will be entered into a data bank where test results will be compared with any patient in the world needing a stem cell transplant. If there’s a match, it could involve further testing.

The event takes place from 3 to 6 p.m.

For more information on One Match, please visit https://blood.ca/en/stem-cell/what-are-stem-cells.

 

Just Posted

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Laid-off Casino Nanaimo workers launch class-action lawsuit against corporation

Notice of civil claim filed on April 6 at Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo

Beban Pool is expected to re-open Oct. 4 after a vote by councillors at a finance and audit committee meeting Wednesday, June 16. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo will re-open Beban Pool in October

User groups warn COVID-19 pool closures have left a gap in water safety education

Beef to the lady who went onto my property then proceeded to take my large plant from my home. I found out and asked for it returned. You said I was dramatic? You should be ashamed of yourself.
Beefs & Bouquets, June 16

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

The discovery of a missing woman’s body in Nanaimo earlier this month is now being treated as homicide, say Nanaimo RCMP. (File photo)
Discovery of woman’s body in downtown Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

Amy Watts’s body was discovered near Albert Street and Victoria Crescent on June 3

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Lotto Max player in Nanaimo wins $500,000

Campbell River lotto player wins $1 million in the Tuesday, June 15 draw

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Lotto Max player in Nanaimo wins $500,000

Campbell River lotto player wins $1 million in the Tuesday, June 15 draw

Two ambulances and a medevac helicopter are on scene at Taylor River Flats rest area on Highway 4 due to a serious motor vehicle incident. (PHOTO COURTESY MAGGIE BROWN)
Accident closes Highway 4 between Port Alberni and Tofino

Watch DriveBC for updates on road closures

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says re-opening B.C.’s border to the U.S. ‘is not in our best interest’ right now. (B.C. Government photo)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry (B.C. Government photo)
B.C. records 113 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 4 deaths

Vaccination of young people rising quickly, near 75 per cent

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-staff as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Most Read