Two of more than 125 youth who urged Surrey Vaisakhi Parade attendees to consider signing up to donate blood or stem cells on Saturday, April 20. (Photo: Instagram@onebloodforlife)

Students run blood, stem cell donor drive at Surrey’s Vaisakhi Parade

Volunteer youth group One Blood for Life aims to create a more ethnically diverse stem cell registry

More than 125 local high school students led a stem cell and blood donor drive at the annual Surrey Vaisakhi parade this past weekend.

The crew of volunteers came from a number of local high schools, including Surrey’s Princess Margaret and Queen Elizabeth secondaries and in Delta, Burnsview and North Delta secondaries.

“It was a great event, we got quite a few sign-ups. Just over 700 blood donor sign-ups,” said Surrey resident Joban Bal, founder of volunteer youth group One Blood for Life that teams up with students to promote blood and stem cell donations.

“And we did about 120 stem cell swabs for the registry,” Bal added, explaining anyone interested was able to do a cheek swab on the spot at the Surrey parade.

Bal said another 150 people filled out surveys to help the organization gauge how it can better reach different demographics in the community.

“The reach is hopefully much larger than that. We got quite a lot of people talking and hopefully taking the message home,” Bal remarked. “We really wanted to target the South Asian population. This is a good opportunity, with about 500,000 people coming out to the parade.”

SEE RELATED Surrey youth to help promote ‘Thanks Mom: Give Life’ donor event in Guildford

SEE RELATED: VIDEO: Surrey boy’s painful cancer fight inspires call for blood donors

Bal said the organization wants to understand how to overcome language and cultural barriers to offer people “a better chance at a lifesaving match.”

It’s all part of the organization’s work to build a more ethnically diverse stem cell registry.

“We don’t want this to be a hurdle for any patient,” he added, noting the foundation reaches out to a variety of ethnic groups, attending other venues and events such as churches, Hindu temples and Latino festivals.

“We really try to get a good mix of ethnic diversity so we can help represent Canada’s multiculturalism in the (stem cell) registry.”

According to Canadian Blood Services (CBS), over 80 diseases and disorders can be treated with a stem cell transplant but fewer than 25 per cent of patients who need a transplant find a compatible donor in their own family.

Learn more about donating blood or stem cell transplants at blood.ca.

homelessphoto

(Youth volunteer at the Surrey Vaisakhi Parade on April 20. Submitted photo)

homelessphoto

(Youth volunteer at the Surrey Vaisakhi Parade on April 20. Submitted photo)

homelessphoto

(Youth volunteer at the Surrey Vaisakhi Parade on April 20. Submitted photo)



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

Just Posted

Police watchdog investigating two officers after Langley teen’s suspected overdose

According to IIO, two officers were deployed to help Carson Crimeni but did not locate him before he died

Auditor general to release ‘executive expenses’ report for Surrey School District

Report is to determine whether employer-paid expenses ‘comply’ with applicable district policies

Grieving South Surrey mom ‘disappointed’ province not moving quicker to fix recovery homes

Min. Judy Darcy says new regulations, effective Dec. 1, follow ‘many horror stories’

Surrey school district unveils its first rainbow crosswalk

Superintendent Jordan Tinney says colour crossing ‘a statement that everyone is welcome in Surrey’

North Delta MLA Ravi Kahlon cleared of conflict allegations

Commissioner finds MLA’s father’s taxi licence doesn’t equal a conflict of interest while working on ride-sharing regulations

Pickle me this: All the outrageous foods at this year’s PNE

Pickled cotton candy, deep-fried chicken skins, and ramen corndogs are just a start

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

Mammoth sturgeon catch was ‘a fish of a lifetime’ for Chilliwack guide

Sturgeon was so enormous it tied for largest specimen every tagged and released in the Fraser

Fraser River sea bus proposed to hook into TransLink system

Maple Ridge councillor just wants to start discussion

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

Body found believed to be missing Chilliwack senior with dementia

Police say case is now in the hands of the coroner

Most Read