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

Surrey RCMP looking for owner of stolen catalytic converters

They were found last Thursday, along with some power tools, in an abandoned rental truck

South Surrey event to benefit efforts to help Cambodia rebuild

Cambodia ‘missing a whole generation’ due to Khmer Rouge genocide

White Rock couple to donate blood 325th time, collectively

Anne Friendly will make her 175th donation, while her husband Kevin Klop will donate his 150th time

South Surrey mothers to launch CBD-infused water product

Three friends say benefits may include anxiety relief, pain management

4-year-old child injured in Surrey after falling out window

Child fell out of third-storey window, expected to fully recover

VIDEO: ‘Thrones,’ ‘Fleabag’ top Emmys

Billy Porter makes history as first openly gay black man to win best drama-series acting Emmy

Hybrid vessels part of B.C. Ferries’ plans to reduce emissions

Island Class vessels, coming by 2022, part of ferry corporation’s broader strategy

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Give severely addicted drug users injectable medical-grade heroin, guideline says

CMAJ article outlines best practices for innovative treatment that’s been lacking in overdose crisis

B.C. court hears disclosure arguments in Meng Wanzhou case

Huawei exec argues she was unlawfully detained at YVR last December at direction of U.S. authorities

Trudeau attacks Scheer, Harper, Ford in first federal salvo for Ontario

Liberal leader targets three big conservative rivals in second full week of campaign

Over 200 Hotel Georgia hospitality workers join ‘open-ended strike’

Unionized workers at Hyatt Regency, Westin Bayshore and Pinnacle Harbourfront have also walked out

Hiker rescued after spending night on Crown Mountain

North Shore Rescue spotted the woman by helicopter over Hanes Valley

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

Most Read

l -->