Fewer than 25 per cent of patients who need a stem cell transplant find a match within their own family. The other approximately 75% rely on people who have registered to be Stem Cell Donors.
One of those patients in need of a donor is a 3 month-old Manitoban boy named Boston De Castro. He has been diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). It is a severe systemic inflammatory syndrome that can be fatal.
Boston is half Caucasian and half Filipino. No one in his family is a match. They are seeking more people of mixed backgrounds to register as stem cell donors and be tested to see if they can help Boston.
Read his story HERE.
About 66% of the stem cell database is Caucasian and only about 3.5% is of mixed ethnic background.
How to Register
To register as a stem cell donor, head to www.blood.ca/en/stemcells/donating-stemcells and take the questionnaire to see if you’re eligible. You must be between the age of 17 and 35. According to Canadian Blood Services,”The international transplant community has defined an ‘optimal donor’ as young – between the age 17 and 35. Stem cells from younger donors can offer patients better outcomes by reducing post-transplant complications.”
International donors can register at www.bethematch.org
If you don’t meet the requirements to be a stem cell donor because you are older than 35, you could still donate blood and help save a life that way. Find all the details at Blood.ca