There are about 1000 Canadians waiting for a lifesaving donation of stem cells.
Nursing students from Vancouver Island University are hosting a stem cell donor registry event on Friday to hopefully find matches for those in need.
Courtney Johnston and three of her VIU classmates decided to organize the event after doing a placement with Canadian Blood Services, which runs OneMatch. The stem cell and marrow network matches donors with patients who desperately need transplants.
Johnston says registering as a donor is very simple process that only takes about five minutes. You can also register by ordering a swab kit from the OneMatch website.
Johnston says 80 per cent of the time, donating stem cells is just like giving blood. The other 20 per cent of the time, the cells are taken from the bone marrow in the pelvis, under general anesthetic.
The registry is open to healthy people ages 17 to 35, and there’s a need for healthy young men from diverse backgrounds.
The registration event in Nanaimo is from 3:00pm-6:00pm on Friday at Country Club Mall, outside the Shoppers Drug Mart.