New Westminster: In collaboration with Canadian Blood Services and Khalsa Diwan Society New Westminster, the 3rd Annual Stem Cell Awareness Drive is being held in memory of Avtar Singh, who passed away January 21st, 2017 after a very intense battle with cancer.

The focus of this drive is to raise awareness for the need of stem cell donors in the South Asian community. According to Canadian BloodServices, many South Asian individuals are actively searching for a stem cell match at this moment. Without a match, their cancer will not be cured. Only 6% of Canada’s OneMatch registry is made of individuals of South Asian descent. This extremely low percentage of donors can make it nearly impossible for individuals to find a match.

The goal is to recruit healthy, committed volunteers between the agesof 17 and 35 who are willing to be a match for any patient in need. Younger donor stem cells provide better patient outcomes. Male donor
stem cells decrease the possibility of post-transplant complication. Half of all stem cell donors chosen to help a Canadian patient are male. Only 28% of the current stem cell registry is ethnically diverse and as a result, ethnically diverse patients may have a harder time finding a match. These are the reasons why there is a greater need for male and ethnically diverse donors.

When: Saturday, February 2, from 10:00am to 6:00pm

• Khalsa Diwan Society New Westminster, Gurdwara Sahib Sukh Sagar
• 347 Wood Street, New Westminster, British Columbia, V3M 5K6

To raise awareness in the South Asian community regarding stem cell donation.