16 Responses to Katie Star needs a hero. Is it you?

  1. Teena Garofalo January 28, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Scot, I am unclear on your story. Is it only males between 17-35 that are needed? Also what exactly is involved in getting tested to find out if someone is a needed donor?

    Thank you for your help

  2. amber January 28, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    How do i get tested? i want to help.

  3. crystal January 28, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    hello if i would be a match is there a way to make sure that your little one would recieve the stem cells. Am i able to request that if i would match and if not i can still donate for someone else??

  4. Denita January 28, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    It really is a shame that the age cutoff is ’35’. My husband and I would love to register to see if we are a match but I’m 38 and he is 39. This little girl is in my daughter’s class at Coronation and to know that we can’t register because we are ‘too old’ is really a shame….Stay strong Katie, we are thinking of you and your family..xoxoxo

  5. Adina Timmons January 28, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    The donors can be male or female. The reason why it mentions males is the odds of a successful transplant are found in male donors. If you wish to become a donor please visit http://www.onematch.com or join us on Feb 22 2014 at the sports park in cambridge.

    Adina ( friend of Katie parents)

  6. Olga January 28, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Hello everyone,

    You can go to onematch.com and register there. you go through a set of questions about your general health. then you will receive a package to your home address which will contain a simple swab (set of 4) for your to swipe on inside of your cheeks. thats all. then you send out your swabs to a lab in ottawa (postage is prepaid for you). thats it.
    IF and thats a big IF (but such a tremendous IF) you become a match – you will be contacted and will undergo some testing (simple blood test and urine), at that point it will be determined if you are a complete match to this person. there are two ways to donate. through stem cells in your blood or through hip bone marrow. Both are considered to be safe procedures. you can read more about it online. Blood donation is easier and less invasive than the bone marrow collection. but its a personal choice and also based on your assessment with doctor. NOW – YOU CAN say no at any point of the time, if you dont feel comfortable or change your mind. (hopefully not at the time when the patient receives their chemo and are counting to receive the stem cells).

    In terms of AGE LIMITATIONS. There are only the ones for teens. One match doesnt collect from children and teens under 17. So, if you are OLDER THAN 35 YOU CAN STILL DONATE. ALSO please dont forget about CORD BLOOD. If you consider testing it for a match you can try and come out ON FEBRUARY 22, to the SPORTS PARK for DONATIONS for Katie and speak to her relatives.

    I really hope Katie finds a match soon. Its up to us to spread the word and to make sure she gets a chance at fighting this.

  7. Olga January 28, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    DENITA,

    yes you can register. Please spread the word to others.

  8. Scot Ferguson-Barber January 29, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    I received this from Olga, the media rep at One Match, today. It may answer some of the questions that are being posted.

    OneMatch Q&A
    What is the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network?
    Canadian Blood Services’ OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network is a program that:
    • recruits blood stem cell donors
    • conducts searches for patients who need a blood stem cell transplant
    • coordinates the collection and delivery when a match is found
    OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network has more than 329,000 volunteer donors registered to help any patient in need.
    What about international registries?
    OneMatch is a member of World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA) – a network of accredited registries around the world. OneMatch is part of 72 registries and 48 cord blood banks that transmit their donor HLA typing results to Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide (BMDW). As a result, when searching on behalf of Canadian patients, OneMatch has access to more than 21 million volunteer donors and more than 600,000 cord blood units from 48 cord banks in 33 countries. Similarly, other registries part of this network, have access to searching the OneMatch database. This is why our donors have the potential to help patients in Canada, and around the world.
    What are blood stem cells?
    Blood stem cells are unspecialized cells that can mature into red blood cells (which carry oxygen), white blood cells (which fight infection) or platelets (which help stop bleeding). They can be found in bone marrow, umbilical cords or freely circulating in blood. They treat a variety of illnesses including leukemia, lymphoma, aplastic anemia, inherited immune system and metabolic disorders, and Sickle-Cell disease. For many people, a stem cell transplant is the last and best hope of recovery. Note: Blood stem cells are not embryonic stem cells.
    Is there a cord blood bank in Canada?
    Work is actively underway to establish the National Public Cord Blood Bank. The National Public Cord Blood Bank will benefit Canadian patients and the country’s health care system by providing those in need of stem cells with increased opportunity for transplant and reducing Canada’s current 100 per cent reliance on internationally sourced cord blood stem cell donations. Canadian Blood Services is launching a $12.5-million fundraising campaign to build a national public cord blood bank. The goal is to secure the first $6-million by summer 2013 and to raise the remainder of the balance by 2014. You can make a financial donation to support the building of a national public cord blood bank by visiting http://www.blood.ca/campaign.
    How does a stem cell transplant work?
    Because bone marrow, blood or cord blood are sources of stem cells, all transplants are stem cell transplants. Depending on where the stem cells are taken from, they can be referred to as “bone marrow transplants” – from the bone marrow, “peripheral blood stem cell transplants” – from the blood flow, and “cord blood transplants” – from an umbilical cord.
    Essentially – a patient’s diseased marrow/stem cells are replaced with the donor’s healthy stem cells. It works like this: the patient is given radiation and chemotherapy to destroy both of their diseased bone marrow/ stem cells and their immune system. This is necessary to prevent rejection of the donor’s cells. The donor’s stem cells are then collected and given intravenously to the patient.
    How can someone register/donate?
    We are looking for healthy individuals committed to helping any patient in need anywhere in the world. Research indicates that younger male donors are associated with better long term survival rates. The best chance of finding a match comes from the patient’s own ancestral group. Canada’s database consists of 72 per cent Caucasian and 28 per cent of diverse origin. For these reasons, OneMatch is making a concerted effort to recruit younger male donors and diversify the database.
    To donate, register online at http://www.onematch.ca/join. We will send you a buccal swab kit with clear instructions and cotton swabs that you will use to swab the inside of your cheek (much like on TV’s CSI and Bones). You’ll send the sample back to us in the return envelope provided. We’ll enter your name into the database and contact you when a match is found.
    What happens after someone registers with OneMatch?
    After completing the registration, the buccal swab sample will be tested and added to the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network database.
    Daily, the test results from your swab sample will be compared to any patient in the world needing a stem cell transplant. If a registrant is identified as a match, OneMatch will contact him/her to re-confirm health status and commitment to the program. At that stage, further testing will most likely be required to see if the potential donor is the best match for the patient. This testing is typically a blood test and can involve other health and infectious disease testing.
    If the potential donor is deemed as the best match, he/she will be asked to donate stem cells in one of two ways: through blood or bone marrow. Once stem cells are collected from the donor they will be given intravenously to the recipient. The donation could have a life-saving effect on the patient.

    What about diversity? Why is this important?
    Every ancestry has specific inherited Haplotypes and/or Alleles that differentiate members of that ancestral group from others and provide more opportunities for a successful match. This is why patients are most likely to find their donor from their own ancestral group. The OneMatch Network consists of 72 per cent Caucasian and 28 per cent of diverse origin. To accurately reflect the changing face of Canada, we need more potential donors from diverse backgrounds such as Aboriginal Canadians, Chinese, South Asians, Southeast Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics.
    Can I donate to a patient in my community?
    OneMatch is supportive of community efforts to raise awareness about the need for donors and efforts to increase the size of our donor pool. However, as a national organization supporting roughly 1,000 Canadian patients in need of stem cells, our focus is on recruitment for all patients and not just for a specific patient.
    It is important to note that when registering to join OneMatch, it means that the registrant must remain committed to helping any patient, anywhere in the world, anytime; this is the same commitment that allows us to access more than 22 million donors worldwide.
    You cannot direct your donation for a very important reason. Joining OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network means you are committed to helping any patient, anywhere in the world. This is the same commitment that volunteer donors around the world have made. It is this commitment that allows us access to more than 22 million donors worldwide. Currently, more than half of the stem cell transplant patients in Canada rely on international donors.

    Fact Sheet
    • A stem cell transplant can be used to treat a number of illnesses including: leukemia, lymphoma, aplastic anemia, inherited immune system and metabolic disorders, and blood diseases such as Sickle-Cell.
    • Less than 25 per cent of patients who need stem cell transplants will find a match in their family. Most people depend on an unrelated donor.
    • In addition to the OneMatch Network, a national public cord blood bank is especially important for Canadian patients because of our country’s diverse population.
    • The national public cord blood bank will be collecting cord blood donations from volunteering mothers across Canada at designated collection hospitals. As part of Canadian Blood Services’ OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network, the cord blood donations will be listed within the network and available to all Canadians patients.
    • To build a national public cord blood bank, fundraising is a vital part of this work. One of the key ways to help is by becoming part of Canadian Blood Services’ major financial gifts campaign, For All Canadians. You can make a financial donation to support the building of a national public cord blood bank by visiting http://www.blood.ca/campaign.
    • Canadian Blood Services is launching a $12.5-million fundraising campaign to build a national public cord blood bank. The goal is to secure the first $6-million by summer 2013 and to raise the remainder of the balance by 2014.
    • At any given time, roughly 1,000 Canadians are searching for an unrelated stem cell donor.
    • OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network is a member of World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA) and has an obligation to provide both Canadian Transplant Centers and international registries the best donor available – or, ‘optimal donor’ – for their patients.
    • The international transplant community has defined an ‘optimal donor’ as young (age 17-35), male and diverse. Younger stem cells from male donors routinely offer patients a better post-transplant outcome by reducing post-transplant complications such as graft vs. host disease.
    • The best chance of finding a match comes from within a patient’s own ancestral group.
    • Canada’s database is 72 per cent Caucasian and 28 per cent diverse. OneMatch is making a concerted effort to engage younger male donors and widen the diverse representation of the database.
    • In 2012, 427 Canadians received unrelated stem cell transplants.
    • Approximately 329,000 Canadians have volunteered to donate stem cells.
    • When searching on behalf of Canadian patients, OneMatch has access to more than 22 million volunteer donors in 52 countries and more than 600,000 cord blood units from 48 banks in 33 counties.
    • Joining the network is a long term commitment; donors remain on the registry until their 60th birthday.
    • The number of available donors can be affected by donor availability — for example, even if a match is found, the donor must be available (easy to locate) and eligible to give (e.g., in good health). Patients can have difficulty finding a matching donor, depending on the complexity of the HLA typing they have inherited.
    • Right now, patients undergoing transplant surgery are in immediate need of blood and blood products. We urge everyone to continue helping Canadian patients by donating blood regularly at a local blood donor clinic. Please go online at blood.ca or call 1 888 2 DONATE to find out more on becoming a blood donor.

  9. Tammy Shiells January 30, 2014 at 6:01 am

    There. Should be no age limit when coming to save a life I just took care of mymomma who died of bone cancer was very rough I’m 49 and would love to help but u have age cap and I’m on no meds of any kind hope you can help this little angel God bless

  10. Jan Liggett January 30, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Olga was clear in her first response. You can be over 35 it’s just that the optimal age is 17-35 . This info is bound to push off people who would “Ike to be tested. Perhaps it needs to be changed so it is not so confusing.

  11. Iwona Frost January 31, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Its a shame that the age is cut off at 35 I am 38 and would love to be able to help out.

    Iwona

  12. Pingback: Katie Star Needs a Hero (World Cancer Day) | merlinspielen

  13. Kelsey February 8, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Hi, my name is Kelsey, I am 17 years old and my little sister goes to Coronation and she had told me about little Katie. I would love to give my stem cells to Katie if I am a match.

  14. lily smith February 23, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    My Name Is Lily Smith and i would really like to help Katie and i would like to know how i can help.😊

  15. lily smith February 23, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Also i am 12 years old

  16. John March 10, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    God Bless her. We are cheering for you Katie! We are all in your corner.

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