For the first time, colleges across Canada partnered with OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network to host campus Get Swabbed! events, in the hopes of adding young, male, and diverse registrants to Canada’s stem cell registry.
Inspired by their counterparts at universities, college students and OneMatch teamed up for the Get Swabbed! college program for the first time in 2013.
Their goal: to add more optimal donors to the OneMatch Network. Students embraced the challenge to add optimal – young (ages 17-35), ethnically diverse, male – stem cell donors to make OneMatch more reflective of Canada’s population.
Statistics show that while there are more than 330,000 Canadians currently registered on the OneMatch Network, there are still nearly 1,000 patients searching for matching stem cell donors.
About 75 per cent of registrants are Caucasian and only 25 per cent are from Canada’s many diverse ethnic groups. Research shows that younger stem cells from male donors can provide better effects on patients post-transplant. Equally, a patient is most likely to find a suitable match with a donor of the same ethnic background. There is a special need for young, diverse male donors to better support all patients in need.
Students represent the optimal donors who are most likely to be selected to help save lives.