OTTAWA, Sept. 18, 2015 /CNW/ - Canadian Blood Services will join other stem cell registries around the world to commemorate the first ever World Marrow Donor Day (WMDD) on September 19. The day is designed to draw attention to the need to increase the number of donors from all ancestral backgrounds on worldwide registries.
Led by the World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA) – a network of accredited registries around the world – WMDD celebrates the millions of people who have volunteered to save the lives of patients in need of a stem cell transplant.
The theme of this year's inaugural celebration is "Thank You 25 million donors" and highlights the global cooperation in blood stem cell transplantation.
Canadian Blood Services is an accredited member of the WMDA and the network of 75 registries and 53 cord blood banks that share a global database where all potential donors and cord blood units are listed.
As a result, when searching on behalf of Canadian patients, Canadian Blood Services has access to more than 26 million volunteer donors and more than 683,000 cord blood units from dozens of countries around the world.
Being part of this international cooperation directly benefits patients searching for an unrelated match, as more than 80 per cent of Canadian transplant patients rely on international donors.
"Every person who registers as a potential donor gives greater hope to all patients in need of a stem cell transplant and their families, not just in Canada but around the world – this is truly a global effort," said Kimberly Young, Canadian Blood Services' Director, Donation and Transplantation. "You might be the only person in the world who is the right match for a patient."
To mark WMDD, donors and stem cell recipients can share their story and this video on social media and use the hashtags #25MillionThanks and #WMDD. To book an appointment to donate blood or to find out more about how you can register to become a potential stem cell donor, visit blood.ca.
About Canadian Blood Services
Canadian Blood Services manages the national supply of blood, blood products and stem cells, and related services for all the provinces and territories (excluding Quebec). We operate an integrated, pan-Canadian service delivery model that includes leading an interprovincial system for organ donation and transplantation. Our national scope, infrastructure and governance make us unique in the Canadian healthcare landscape. Canadian Blood Services is regulated as a biologics manufacturer by Health Canada and primarily funded by the provincial and territorial ministries of health. Canadian Blood Services is a not-for-profit charitable organization.
About World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA)
Worldwide, over 50,000 patients per year are looking for a matched donor outside their family. Nearly 50% of the patients that find a donor find his or her perfectly matched donor in another country. WMDA works towards a global standardization by establishing an accreditation programme for organisations that provide blood stem cells for patients in need of a transplant. The accreditation programme ensures the welfare of the donors and high-quality stem cells for patients worldwide.
To learn more about WMDA or WMDD, visit: www.wmda.info or www.worldmarrowdonorday.org or www.facebook.com/worldmarrowdonorday
Follow us on Twitter at @itsinyoutogive
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SOURCE Canadian Blood Services
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