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RSS FeedsStem cell donors wanted. Get Swabbed campaign coming to university campuses
(The Star Theatre)

 
 

15 november 2019 23:05:03

 
Stem cell donors wanted. Get Swabbed campaign coming to university campuses
(The Star Theatre)
 




Have you been swabbed yet? Well, if you’re a healthy person under the age of 35, you probably should — it could save someone’s life. That’s the message organizers of a November “Get Swabbed” campaign are hoping to get out there as they recruit potential stem cell donors at 27 post secondary school campuses across the country, including the University of Toronto and Ryerson University. The Get Swabbed initiative is a lot like a blood drive, except that volunteers from the Stem Cell Club, collect swabs of cheek cells, not plasma, from potential donors. For some, that’ll be the last they ever hear of it. Others, though, might come up as a match for a patient with one of 80-some cancers, blood diseases and immune system disorders that can be treated with a stem cell transplant. “Stem cells are like blood factories that live in the bone marrow,” explains Dr. Warren Fingrut, founder and director of the nation-wide Stem Cell Club. “Sometimes patients have diseases that damage those factories leading to problems and a stem cell transplant offers a patient a chance to replace those damaged blood factories and go back to producing healthy blood again, potentially saving the patient’s life.”Fingrut, an internal medicine physician at the University of British Columbia, started volunteering at stem cell donor drives more than 10 years ago when he was an undergrad at McMaster, and was moved by stories of patients unable to find a match. Although the registry is more robust than it was when he started, it has a long way to go still, since it needs a healthy membership to be effective. “It’s exceptionally difficult for patients to find a match,” he says. “Like products at a supermarket, our stem cells have something like barcodes on them and a scanning system of sorts so it’s important the patient receives stem cells from a donor that has the same barcode label. The immune syst ...
 
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