Nothing Can Stop ‘Super Hero’ Students From Saving Lives!
Southern Ontario Universities Help Launch National Get Swabbed Campaign
September 26, 2013 (LONDON / WATERLOO) – Students at Fanshawe College and Wilfrid Laurier University are donning new capes in their collective efforts to register more men between the ages of 17 and 35 to become potential stem cell donors through the national ‘Get Swabbed’ recruitment campaign. In its fourth year, the campaign includes nearly 100 university, college and high school campuses from coast-to-coast, with one central goal - to increase the number of young ethnically diverse male donors on the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network.
“For stem cell patients like me, our heroes are young male donors because stem cells from younger males offer patients a better quality of life after the transplant,” says 21 year-old Fanshawe student and leukemia patient Allison Riley. Allison celebrates her third ‘new’ birthday this year thanks to the generosity of an unrelated donor and ‘super hero’ - like Aaron MacKenzie.
Aaron, a fourth year student donated stem cells to a patient just over a year ago having signed up at a Get Swabbed event at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. He wants other students to follow his lead and be the one ‘super hero’ to rescue any patient anywhere in the world that is waiting now for a stem cell transplant. “At any given time there are about 700 patients waiting for their match,” says Aaron who is helping host this year’s Get Swabbed event at Wilfrid Laurier. “I know first-hand the feeling of being a ‘super hero’ and the Get Swabbed campaign is a great opportunity for more guys to join the fight and save someone’s life.”
An hour east down the highway in London, Allison Riley prepares to host her second Get Swabbed event at Fanshawe College, she is lightning quick to validate why Aaron’s act of heroism is so important to patients. “I’m here today because someone out there decided to get swabbed and join OneMatch,” she says. “I’m still in awe of my donor’s courage to share a part of them to help save the life of a stranger. They are a true super hero!”
This year, to find more super heroes like Aaron for patients like Allison, OneMatch is also launching a new marketing campaign – an online comic book and registration experience featuring Allison as the real life recipient. This launch coincides with Get Swabbed.
Acting Director of OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network Beth Amer concludes, “Spiderman said it best, ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ What greater responsibility than being able to save a life? With each student’s passion to help stem cell patients, the national Get Swabbed Program will continue to grow ensuring OneMatch can help more patients today and in the future.”
Last year’s cross-country campaign saw 26 university, 28 college and 50 high school campuses participate. The events registered 12,701 potential donors to OneMatch, making it one of the most impactful annual campaigns for OneMatch.
Get Swabbed events are starting in September 2013 at universities, colleges and high schools across the country.
To register as a potential stem cell donor and to find out more about the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network, visit www.facebook.com/onematch.
OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network videos can be found at: www.youtube.com/18882DONATE.
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