GurpreetGurpreet requires a stem cell transplant to treat her myelofibrosis, a rare type of blood cancer.

Swabs to help identify potential lifesavers

Stem cell transplants require a one-to-one genetic match between the patient and donor, which occurs more commonly among those with a similar ethnic background.

Only seven per cent of people registered as stem cell donors with Canadian Blood Services are of South Asian descent, making it especially hard to find a match for patients like Gurpreet, a 42-year-old wife and mother with myelofibrosis.

She is calling on the community to come forward and help identify potential donors for her life-saving bone marrow transplant.

A “Get Swabbed” event on the UWindsor campus Thursday, March 21, will help. The UWindsor Blood Club and the Katelyn Bedard Bone Marrow Association will be in the CAW Student Centre Commons that day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

All they ask of registrants is they be in good health and between the ages of 17 and 35 years old. A simple swab of the inside of a cheek and less than 10 minutes is all it takes to enter the stem cell registry. The need spans all ethnicities.

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