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Game on for a Winning Match

by NationTalk on March 13, 2012389 Views

Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation host of the 41st Little Native Hockey League
partners with OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network to save lives through new
stem cell donors

For immediate release

MARCH 11, 2012 [SUDBURY, ON]— Sagamok Anishnawbek host of the 41st Little Native Hockey League (LNHL) have united with Canadian Blood Services’ OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network to empower youth to become community heroes on and off the ice by registering as stem cell donors. The 41st Annual LNHL Tournament will bring together more than 125 teams and nearly 2,500 players and coaching staff to Greater Sudbury from March 11-15. The tournament is the longest running aboriginal sporting event in North America, and is aimed to engage First Nations, in sport. The Sagamok First Nation, whose name means ‘two points joining’, is hosting the thousands of players and coaches along with an anticipated 5,000 hockey fans during the tournament.

This year also marks the joining of two groups committed to the well-being of our First Peoples. OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network has partnered with Sagamok Anishnawbek, and will attend the tournament to register and raise awareness of the need for stem cell donors to help the 12 Aboriginal patients with illnesses such as leukemia or lymphoma. Youth hold the key to supporting their communities, as donors most likely to help patients are young men ages 17 to 35.

“Our youth have the unique power to save lives, and make a difference for the entire community simply by registering as stem cell donors,” says Sagamok Chief Paul Eshkakogan. “We have partnered with OneMatch to raise awareness of the need for more First Nations, Metis and Inuit donors to support those in need.”

Although OneMatch has over 307,000 registrants willing to donate their stem cells to any patient in need, Canada’s First Peoples are under-represented and make up only 0.9 percent of the Network. As a patient’s best chance of finding a match is with a donor of similar ancestry, more First Nations, Inuit and Metis people are urgently needed to join. There is a special need for young male donors, as they can possibly offer the best post-transplant results for patients.

“We are honoured by the opportunity to partner with the Little Native Hockey League and work towards building a stronger stem cell Network for Aboriginal Peoples in Canada,’ says Jennifer Philippe, director, OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network. ‘Together with our First Nations youth we can continue with our commitment to providing the best health care to our First Nations communities.”

OneMatch will also host swab events to register potential donors at the Countryside Arena on Tuesday, March 13 and at the Sudbury Arena on Thursday, March 15.

To register as a potential stem cell donor, or to find a blood donor clinic in your area, please go to www.onematch.ca or call Canadian Blood Services at 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283) to have a registration package mailed to your address.

About Canadian Blood Services’ OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network

Canadian Blood Services’ OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network is a program dedicated to recruiting healthy, committed volunteer donors for patients in need of blood (hematopoietic) stem cells. OneMatch also conducts searches for matched, unrelated donors for patients; ensures donors are healthy and able to donate; and, coordinates the collection and delivery of stem cells in Canada and around the world. As an accredited member of the World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA), OneMatch represents an important part of an international group of 65 registries and 47 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 18.1 million volunteer donors in 28 countries and more than 400,000 cord blood units from 47 cord banks in 28 countries. As part of Canadian Blood Services, the provincial and territorial Ministries of Health provide operational funding to OneMatch. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.onematch.ca.

To book an appointment or for more information, visit us at www.blood.ca or call 1 888 2 DONATE.

Follow us on Twitter @itsinyoutogive, visit our official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CanadianBloodServices and see our YouTube channel at 18882DONATE.

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For more information contact:

OIga Pazukha
Communications Specialist
OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network
Canadian Blood Services
T: 604.707.3447
F: 604.707.3446
C: 604.354.4038

Annie Barrette
Communications Specialist/Spécialiste en communications
Canadian Blood Services/Société canadienne du sang
T. (705) 688-7341
T. (705) 665-6514
F. (705) 674-7165

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