Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Donate blood

I received the email below from Fahmi:

Dear friends,

We are writing this email because we need your help desperately. Our father has been diagnosed with myelofibrosis, a blood disease that results in acute leukemia and is in urgent need for a stem cell transplant. We are sincerely asking all of you to help save our father’s life.

As you may know, finding a matched stem cell donor is very difficult. Unfortunately, patients are not able to find a suitable donor within their family 70% of the time. Likewise for our father, no match was found within his family members. The only remaining hope is to look into unrelated marrow network registry around the world. As tissue types are inherited, a patient is most likely to find a match within his/her own racial or ethnic group.

It gets worse. As a Bangladeshi Canadian, his chances of finding a match within the South Asian community is 1 in 20, 000. This is because there is a severe shortage of people from the South Asian community who are registered on the network. This is also true for other ethnic communities such as Asian, African and Middle Eastern communities. This is why, Canadian Blood Services is promoting and welcoming all ethnic minority groups to join the marrow network.

We need all of you to join Canada’s OneMatch stem cell network. If we collectively take an effort to join the registry and spread the word, we can help save a life like my father’s and of thousand others around the world.

Registering for Canada’s unrelated marrow network is very easy. After completing an online form, a registered nurse from Canadian Blood Services will contact you in few days to make an appointment for you to give a small sample of your blood. The sample would be used to determine your tissue type (HLA type) and this is not the same as your blood group. Once again, all you need to get registered is to fill out a form and to give a small sample of blood, its very simple. You can fill out the online form to register and get more information at:


To be able to register as a stem cell donor, you must be aged between 17 to 50 years, be in good health, and be willing to help save the life of any patient with whom you may match. After registering in the marrow registry, if you are a match for a stem cell transplant, the most common way to donate your stem cells is through your blood. Despite what you may have heard, modern techniques enable donors to donate their stem cells simply by donating blood. There is absolutely no risk or complications associated with being a donor. Please visit the websites for more information.

Our father’s best chance of finding a match is within the South Asian community. You can be that match and register to marrow network. Just like my father, there are thousands of patients around the world who is looking for a suitable matched donor. You can save lives and given them second chance at life.

You can help by doing three critical things:
1• Getting informed: Learn about stem cell and bone marrow donation process. Please visit www.onematch.ca in Canada or www.marrow.org in U.S. You can also call 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283) in Canada and 1-800-MARROW-2 (1-800-627-7692) in the U.S.
2• Spreading the word: Tell your family, friends, relatives and co-workers. Tell them in person, through phone and through email. Forward this email to as many people as possible and ask them to do the same. Remember, you can ask anyone between the ages of 17 and 50 and that means the students in schools, colleges and universities. You need to raise awareness about this issue in your community.
3• Joining the registry: There are thousands of people around the world awaiting to find their one match. You have the ability to save a life.

We are in desperate need for all your help to save our father’s life who we love very much. Would you not want the same if a loved one needed a stem cell transplant?

We hope we can count on each and every one of you to join the OneMatch stem cell network.
For more information please check the websites and attached documents. Should you have any questions, concerns or comments regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact:

Fahmi & Ishtiaque Choudhury, Family and Friends
Toronto, Ontario

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