Learn about what a stem cell transplant is, the importance of being an organ donor, and how you can save lives

Become A Donor

Give the gift of life and become an organ or stem cell donor. A stem cell donation is as simple as a cheek swab and saved my life along with many others. Also learn how you can save up to 8 lives by becoming an organ donor

Facts & Info

What is a bone marrow transplant? What is the CAR T cell protocol? What’s the process of a lung transplant? All your questions answered! Learn all the info you need

What Is:

CAR T-CELL THERAPY

Blood from a vein in the patient’s arm flows through a tube to an apheresis machine (not shown), which removes the white blood cells, including the T cells, and sends the rest of the blood back to the patient. Then, the gene for a special receptor called a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) is inserted into the T cells in the laboratory. Millions of the CAR T cells are grown in the laboratory and then given to the patient by infusion. The CAR T cells are able to bind to an antigen on the cancer cells and kill them.

The Process

Before receiving your new modified T-Cells, you have to do intense chemotherapy

 

1. Remove blood from patient to get T cells

2. Make CAR T-Cell that react to cancer cell

3. Grow millions of new CAR T-cells

4. Infuse new CAR T-Cells back into patient

5. CAR T-cells attack cancer cells!

My Experience

Deciding to do the CAR T-CELL treatment was NOT easy. Not only would I have to fly to Seattle with a low immune system, but this treatment was not covered by the insurance and at the time the Canadian Government would not help pay. Not only financially was this a hard decision but, with it being such a new treatment, I didn’t know what I was going to be facing. 

I was the 10th patient at Seattle Childrens Hospital to undergo the trial. It was a huge blessing because no other hospitals would take me on since I was Canadian and uninsured. 

My biggest fear: The Cytokine Release Syndrome AKA: “The Storm” 

What Is a bone marrow transplant

Bone marrow is found in the centre of bones and is where blood cells are made. Bone marrow contains the youngest type of blood cell known as a stem cell. As a stem cell ages it becomes a white cell, red cell or platelet. These young stem cells are found in the bone marrow itself, peripheral blood (blood stream) and umbilical cord blood.

WHAT IS GVHD

GvHD happens when types of white blood cells (T-cells) in the donated bone marrow or stem cells attack your own body cells. This happens because the donated cells (the graft) see your body cells (the host) as foreign and attack them.

WHAT IS BONE MARROW

Bone marrow is found in the centre of bones and is where blood cells are made. Bone marrow contains the youngest type of blood cell known as a stem cell. As a stem cell ages it becomes a white cell, red cell or platelet. These young stem cells are found in the bone marrow itself, peripheral blood (blood stream) and umbilical cord blood.

ALL ABOUT

ALL ABOUT:

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Bone Marrow Transplants

BE A DONOR

Learn How To:

How To

Become A Stem Cell Donor

Steps:

  1. Go to www.blood.ca/ > Click on Stem Cells for Life > Click Register to donate Stem Cells > Follow the next 7 easy steps!
  2. Read the information and take the 10 question test on the information you just read

  3. Create a profile on ca and click Register Now to become a Stem Cell Donor. Complete the personal health questionnaire

  4. You will now be sent a swab kit in the mail to collect your DNA sample by cheek swab!

  5. Mail back swab kit (postage will be paid for) and wait to save a life!

Fun Fact:

BECOMING AN ORGAN DONOR CAN SAVE UP TO 8 LIVES AND TISSUES CAN BE USED IN OVER 100 PEOPLE

Not Sure If You're A Donor Already?

Click HERE to see your provinces regulations

Ontario:

You must be 16 years of age or older, look on the back of your drivers license for the word “DONOR” or click HERE to check online


Alberta:

*You must be 18 years of age or older
You can click HERE to find more information.

1. Have your Alberta Health Care Number ready
Indicate your wish to donate, print the form, and mail/fax back to Alberta Health
2. You can go to a registry agent officer to register
3. Sign the back of your health care card!

**You may also want to tell your wishes to your family as they will be making the decisions as well at your bedside.

You must be 18 years of age or older. You can click HERE to find more information

How To

Become An Organ Donor

Steps:

Click HERE and scroll to find the rules for your province:

Ontario:
Get your health care card with number and head to this page

Alberta:
By clicking HERE you will be directed to the organ and tissue donation website

Why it's Important to Register: