Stem cells, specifically blood stem cells, are immature cells that can develop into any cell present in the bloodstream. Without stem cells, the body cannot make the blood cells needed for the immune system to function.
Red blood cells carry oxygen through out the body.
White blood cells fight infections.
Platelets help control bleeding.
Blood stem cells are not embryonic stem cells. They come from bone marrow, circulating (peripheral) blood or umbilical cord blood. When patients need a stem cell transplant, it means that their bone marrow (stem cell factory) has failed due to an illness. Patients who undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatment may also need a transplant of healthy stem cells to help heal and re-boost their immune system.
Who does stem cell donation help?
Stem cell transplants can treat over 80 diseases and disorders, including:
Various types of blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma.
Bone marrow deficiency diseases such as thalassemia or sickle cell disease.
Aplastic anemia (the lack of normal blood cell production).
Inherited immune system and metabolic disorders.
Our bodies constantly manufacture stem cells because without them, the consequences can be life-threatening.
After stem cells saved her life, her story is helping to save others Mackenzie Curran’s support of Canadian Blood Services Stem Cell Registry directly helped a patient in need.
After you complete your registration online, a buccal (cheek) swabbing kit will be mailed to you with instructions on how to complete your buccal swab sample. You will be contacted if further information is required. Also, once you’ve joined the stem cell registry, it’s very important that you let us know when your contact information changes. You can update your contact information any time by logging into your donor profile or by calling 1 888 2 DONATE (1.888.236.6283).
There are many reasons to join Canada’s Lifeline
If every donor in Canada encourages a family member, friend or colleague to join Canada's Lifeline, just imagine the impact it could have on patients across Canada. Get inspired, become a donor and share your reason.