Where: Vaughan Cultural Interpretive Centre.
Address: 9541 Weston Road, Woodbridge, Ontario MAP
Time: 9am - 9pm
Take a couple minutes and give a cheek swab to see if you are a match for one of 941 Canadians waiting for a stem cell transplant.
Debunking Myths About Stem Cell Transplants:
- It is a painful, invasive procedure. FALSE IF you are found to be a match, there are two procedures to donate. A peripheral donation, which is very similar to giving blood or a bone marrow extraction which is a needle, done under anesthetic, where marrow is extracted from one’s hip. It is followed by mild soreness afterwards but is a non-invasive and quick procedure.
- If you donate blood, you don’t need to get swabbed. FALSE While your blood donation is appreciated, the collection of blood is based on a different set of criteria and it not analyzed for HLA markers (genetic matching for stem cell donations).
Myth: Stem cells are taken from the spinal cord.
Fact: The donor’s spinal cord is unaffected in the collection of stem cells. For a bone marrow donation, the collection of the stem cells is taken from the iliac crest which sits at the back of the pelvic bone. The day-procedure (operation) takes place under general anaesthesia.
Myth: All stem cell donations involve surgery.
Fact: Some donations involve surgery and some do not. Canadian Blood Services may ask donors to give stem cells from their bone marrow or peripheral blood. Where bone marrow donation is a surgical procedure, peripheral blood stem cell donation is a non-surgical procedure done in an outpatient clinic.
Peripheral blood stem cell donation involves removing a donor’s blood through a sterile needle in one arm. The blood is passed through a machine that separates out the stem cells used in transplantation. The remaining blood is returned through the other arm.
The patient’s doctor will decide what type of donation is best for the patient.
Myth: Stem cell donation is painful.
Fact: Canadian Blood Services facilitates two types of procedures - stem cell donation from bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell donation. For bone marrow donation, the collection of stem cells is taken from the iliac crest and this type of procedure is done under general anaesthetic so the donor experiences no pain. For peripheral blood stem cell donation, the collection is a non-surgical procedure done in an outpatient clinic and does not involve anaesthetic. The donor does not experience pain during either procedure.
Myth: Stem cell donation involves a lengthy recovery process.
Fact: Bone marrow donors can expect to feel some soreness in their lower back. There have also been reports of donors feeling tired and having some discomfort walking for a couple of days or longer. Most donors are back to their usual routine in a few days. Some may take a few weeks before they feel completely recovered.
Peripheral blood stem cell donors report varying symptoms including headache, bone or muscle pain, nausea, insomnia and fatigue. These effects disappear shortly after donating.
Myth: If I donate stem cells, they cannot be replaced.
Fact: The body replaces the stem cells within six weeks. After donating, most donors are back to their usual routine in a few days.
Myth: I come from a large family, so if I ever need a stem cell transplant, I should have no problem finding a match within my family.
Fact: The requirements for finding a match are so precise that fewer than 30% of those in need can receive a transplant from someone in their own family. That is why we maintain the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network - a network of Canadians who are ready to donate to any patient in need.
Fore more info, visit www.onematch.ca