Chinese Canadians urged to help save lives

Montréal, March 29, 2012 – OtherHalf – Chinese Stem Cell Initiative and Héma-Québec join forces to launch the first recruitment campaign of stem cell donors within the Chinese community in Québec. The members of this community are invited to save lives at the Montreal Chinese Community and Cultural Center, located at: 1088 Clark Street, March 31, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

OtherHalf and Héma-Québec encourage any person of Chinese descent, between 18 and 35 years of age, to join the Stem Cell Donor Registry of Québec. Registration takes just ten minutes and includes a cheek swab: a sampling of saliva obtained by rubbing the inside of the cheeks with cotton swabs.

Currently, Chinese Quebecers represent only 0.06% of the Québec Registry and about 3% of the Bone Marrow Donors Worlwide database. Among Chinese patients who must find an unrelated compatible donor, less than 20% succeeds in finding one. Result: most of them die while waiting for a donation.

Today, more than 30 Chinese patients in Canada are desperately seeking a donor of stem cells that will allow them to survive. Since the chances of finding a compatible donor are greater when the donor and the recipient belong to the same ethnic group, it is vital to recruit donors of Chinese origin.

The event of March 31 is part of a national initiative targeting Chinese Canadians. Besides Montréal, OtherHalf also organizes events in Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary.

If you were able to save a life, what would you do?

More than 12,000 Canadians are diagnosed with blood cancer each year. The survival of many of them depends on a stem cell transplant. Only 25% find a compatible donor in their family. This means that 75% of patients have to rely on the generosity of a stranger.

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For more information, contact :

Betsy Chan
Chairperson, 331 Montréal Recruitment Campaign
OtherHalf - Chinese Stem Cell Initiative
Tel.: 514-878-3113
bchan@ccmcanada.org
www.chinesestemcell.ca

Héma-Québec
Media Line | 514-832-0871
www.hema-quebec.qc.ca