Relatives of cancer sufferer stump for stem cell donations

Published: February 20, 2013

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Community Stem Cell Awareness Week at SFU's Surrey campus on Feb. 20, 2013. (Ric Ernst / PNG)

Aman Sanghera, whose cousin has lymphatic cancer, attends Community Stem Cell Awareness Week at SFU’s Surrey campus on Feb. 20, 2013.  Ric Ernst/PNG

When Gurjeet Brar was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer last October, her health instantly deteriorated.

“There was a point where she wasn’t moving or responding and they actually kind of said, ‘Sorry we don’t know if we can do any more for her,’” cousin Aman Sanghera told Vancouver Desi.

Brar’s family raced to get tested, hoping to be a stem cell donor, but no one was a match.

“It’s hard,” said Sanghera.

They’ve since been doing what they can to raise awareness by holding community stem cell drives like the one at Surrey’s SFU campus Wednesday, which marked the start of B.C.’s Community Stem Cell Awareness Week, running Feb. 20-27. Sanghera and family were at the university campus with posters of Brar, encouraging the South Asian community to register as a donor.

According to OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network, nearly 1,000 Canadians are waiting for a stem cell match from an unrelated donor. And although 330,000 people are currently registered, only 25 per cent are from ethnically diverse backgrounds — who are the most needed donors.

Brar’s ideal donor would be a young South Asian male aged 18 to 44.

“In our ethnicity a lot of people have this misconception of what it is [to be a donor] and how you can help,” said Sanghera. “They think that they have to go through a surgery or they’re not going to be well and their health is in jeopardy — which is not the case.”

Becoming a donor is simple: A cheek swab puts you in the registry and if you ever come up as a match, donating stem cells is just like giving blood.

“It’s really not a big deal if you help save a life,” said Sanghera. “It’s not giving up a kidney or anything — (stem cells are) something we can get again – we naturally produce it.”

This is exactly what Penny Chan with OtherHalf Chinese Stem Cell Initiative — another ehtnicity in dire need of donors — is trying to help people understand.

“They’re worried – they think ‘I have to donate part of myself’ … people are unaware of what it takes,” she said. “It’s like giving blood.”

“In two or three weeks you’re as good as new.”

To help Brar’s cause visit facebook.com/SwabitforGurjeet.

lcahute@theprovince.com
twitter.com/larissacahute


Tags: , , , , , ,





Featured

File photo: A nurse loads a syringe. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody

South Surrey clinic places public ‘at risk,’ says document filed in Supreme Court

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI A South Surrey clinic has “placed members of the public at risk” by falsely claiming to be naturopathic doctors and administering…
Continue Reading »

jail sex

B.C. Supreme Court to decide if Kamloops Mountie watching women have sex in jail is a crime

THE CANADIAN PRESS KAMLOOPS, B.C. — A judge wants to hear arguments from lawyers about the legality of the charge against an RCMP corporal accused…
Continue Reading »

Rice Bucket India poverty

India’s Rice Bucket Challenge gives a ‘meaningful twist’ to ALS ice bucket challenge

VANCOUVER DESI India has created its own “desi” version of the ALS ice bucket challenge that has swept the globe. While the original icy cold…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

File photo: A nurse loads a syringe. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody

South Surrey clinic places public ‘at risk,’ says document filed in Supreme Court

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI A South Surrey clinic has “placed members of the public at risk” by falsely claiming to be naturopathic doctors and administering…
Continue Reading »

jail sex

B.C. Supreme Court to decide if Kamloops Mountie watching women have sex in jail is a crime

THE CANADIAN PRESS KAMLOOPS, B.C. — A judge wants to hear arguments from lawyers about the legality of the charge against an RCMP corporal accused…
Continue Reading »

Child pornography

Abbotsford man charged with possession and distribution of child pornography

THE CANADIAN PRESS ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — Charges of possessing and distributing child pornography and obstructing justice have been laid against a 39-year-old Abbotsford, B.C., man….
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Elephant headed god

Gallery: India prepares to welcome elephant-headed Lord Ganesha

VANCOUVER DESI Preparations for Ganesh Chaturthi, a festival marking the birth of the elephant-headed god, have taken off in India as Hindus prepare to welcome…
Continue Reading »

India-Khatav-Akola,Maharashtra

Baby born with two faces in India fighting for life (Warning: Graphic content)

VANCOUVER DESI A baby born with two faces and four eyes is fighting for her life at a hospital in western India, according to Ruptly….
Continue Reading »

PRV0826-SOCIETYEVICTED_217653098

City of Vancouver gives multicultural society the boot

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI The Vancouver Multicultural Society’s 40th anniversary celebrations have hit a major snag after the city issued the group notice of eviction…
Continue Reading »

Mystic India: The World Tour takes the PNE stage Tuesday and runs until Sept. 1. Submitted photo.

Bollywood dance group Mystic India takes stage at PNE for one week only (w/gallery)

VANCOUVER DESI Internationally acclaimed Bollywood dance troupe Mystic India will be transporting Vancouver audiences overseas as it takes the PNE stage for one week only….
Continue Reading »

cen main.jpg

Woman in India survives hour-long battle with leopard, armed only with small agricultural tool

CEN NEWS A 54-year-old woman has astonished wildlife experts in India after she survived a terrifying hour-long battle with a hungry leopard. Widow Kamla Devi…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

hot photos desi actress bollywood sex

Gallery: Deepika Padukone photo shoot

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood beauty Deepika Padukone, who is creating a lot of buzz with her upcoming film Finding Fanny, poses for the camera. Related Stories:…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood desi boobs sex

Bollywood’s bold babe Sherlyn Chopra strips for Playboy

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood actress Sherlyn Chopra marks the first-ever Indian model to pose for Playboy magazine, according to eonline.com. While the 30-year-old announced she’d be…
Continue Reading »

Imam Siddique

Imam Siddique excited about Bollywood debut

IANS Mumbai – Imam Siddique, best remembered for his appearance in reality show “Bigg Boss 6″, is making his Bollywood debut with a film titled…
Continue Reading »