Ottawa, ON: On October 6, 2010, Joy Smith, Member of Parliament for Kildonan – St. Paul and Terence Young, Member of Parliament for Oakville, in partnership with the Canadian Blood Services (CBS), will launch an ambitious campaign on Parliament Hill to give hope to Canadians battling life-threatening diseases.
The donor clinic titled, “OneSwab, OneMatch, OneLife” is in support of the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network developed and maintained by the Canadian Blood Services. OneMatch is the national donor registry established to register healthy individuals who are potential donors for patients in need of stem cell and marrow transplants.
OneSwab, OneMatch, OneLife will be held in the Commonwealth Room (238S) in Centre Block and is open to the public, MPs, and all parliamentary staff. The clinic will run from 3:15pm to 7:00pm and will be attended by the Minister of Health, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq.
“It is so important for Canadians to know that they can make a lifesaving difference in someone’s life by signing up as a OneMatch donor,” says MP Joy Smith. “As Parliamentarians, we can lead by example and take this campaign back to our communities.”
MP Young stated that “The swab sample is absolutely painless and easy to do. If they understand that, most people would be happy to take 10 minutes and provide a cheek cell sample. Everyone in the targeted range group is welcome.”
MP Young, MP Smith and the CBS have organized a cheek swabbing campaign to help find suitable matches to add to the OneMatch registry which currently has over 260,000 donors. Due to low rates of related stem cell matches – donating to a family member – OneMatch recruits individuals outside of a patient’s family to increase the likelihood of a match.
Healthy individuals between 17 and 50 years of age are encouraged to register at the event. Those who are not eligible are encouraged to bring out a friend, colleague, or family member who is. Candidates are given a ‘do-it-yourself cheek swab’ to obtain HLA/DNA samples for the CBS to determine if they are a compatible match with a patient and takes no more than ten minutes to complete. Subsequent steps in the process include consultations with CBS staff and registered nurses to guide them through the process should they be a match and still willing to provide their stem cells.
Executive Director for the OneMatch Network, Sue Smith, states “Everyone coming down to register today is helping. One more person on the Network is one more person for a patient to search.”