Young men needed as bone marrow, stem cell donors
Not all donors are the same, says Canadian Blood Services
A story of a young girl in need of a bone marrow transplant has inspired hundreds of Albertans to sign up to be tested as potentials donors.
Perhaps not surprisingly, most of the 600 people who have signed up since Monday, when the story of Halle Popowich aired, are women older than 40.
But Cassandra Deluce with onematch.ca at Canadian Blood Services says the best bone marrow and stem cells come from young men.
"They do far better," she said. "They recover faster. And the patients go on not only to survive the transplant, but thrive."
However men between 17 and 35 years of age make up fewer than one in 10 donors.
Male donors in that age group who are not Caucausian are much rarer.
A Caucasian patient has a 90 per cent chance of finding a match, said Deluce, while a non-white patient has less than 10 per cent.
"We need to increase the numbers to increase the odds of finding a match," she said.