OneMatch makes it easy for potential stem cell donors to join



    Life-saving kit now delivered to your home

    OTTAWA, Feb. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadian Blood Services' OneMatch Stem
Cell and Marrow Network is making it easier and faster to register as a
potential stem cell donor-from anywhere in Canada. An overwhelming 1,100
residents from British Columbia signed up during a pilot buccal swab project
to recruit new potential donors over the past three months. That includes an
astonishing 341% jump in our target market of young, ethnically diverse
Canadians.
    Until recently, becoming a new registrant for OneMatch meant taking a
blood test. But from now on, registering to help Canadians suffering from such
life-threatening illnesses as leukemia, lymphoma or Sickle-Cell disease is as
simple and painless as brushing your teeth. In the seconds it takes to swab
the inside of your cheek - just like the forensic investigators on CSI --
registrants could be steps closer to saving a life
    Once registered online at www.onematch.ca, a buccal swab kit is mailed
directly to the registrants' home with clear instructions and a postage paid
return envelope. When it reaches the Canadian Blood Services HLA lab, the DNA
is extracted for HLA typing from the specimen, and the registrants'
information is entered into our database of 227,000 Canadians. Basically, each
new registrant could be a potential match for a patient anywhere in the world.
    "We are thrilled with the response from the Canadian public to our
outreach so far," says Sue Smith, Executive Director, OneMatch Stem Cell and
Marrow Network. "But we have to keep this momentum growing. The face of Canada
is changing dramatically, almost daily, and even though the database is
growing, finding a stem cell match is still like finding a needle in the
haystack. The more diverse OneMatch is, the better the odds to save lives."
    Today if you are an Aboriginal, Black, Chinese, South Asian or Filipino
patient in need of a stem cell transplant, your chances of finding a donor are
not as good as they could be because we simply don't have enough available
donors from these groups - and it is more likely that you will find your donor
from your own community. Whereas if you are Caucasian, you have about a 75 per
cent chance of finding a donor.
    Medical experts know certain diseases are more prevalent in specific
ethno-cultural groups. And since blood types are inherited, the best match for
these patients is people with the same genetic background but related matches
are not common. In fact there is a 70 % chance a patient in need will rely on
someone they don't know to help save their life. Research also has found stem
cells and bone marrow from younger donors offers patients the best chance of
long-term survival.

    About us:

    Canadian Blood Services is a national, not-for-profit charitable
organization that manages the blood supply in all provinces and territories
outside of Quebec and oversees the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network
(previously known as the Unrelated Bone Marrow Donor Registry, UBMDR). A
dedicated team of about 4,800 staff and 17,000 volunteers enable us to operate
40 permanent collection sites and more than 20,000 donor clinics annually.
Canadian Blood Services is a non-governmental organization, however the
Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health provide operational funding,
and the federal government, through Health Canada, is responsible for
regulating the blood system. To register go to onematch.ca.




For further information:

For further information: For media inquiries contact: Anne Trueman,
Work: (613) 739-2548, Cell: (613) 295-5622, anne.trueman@blood.ca

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Canadian Blood Services

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ONEMATCH

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