Atlético Ottawa hosts Canadian Blood Services: Stem Cells for Life

Atlético Ottawa front office staff were recently treated to a fascinating “Lunch and Learn” delivered by Canadian Blood Services’ Ottawa Community Development Manager, Bikram Singh Basra.

The purpose of this talk was for Atlético staff to learn more about the incredible work being done by Canadian Blood Services, both here in Ottawa as well as nationwide. We learnt about the value of Blood donations, Plasma donations and perhaps most important of all, Stem Cell donations.

Stem cell donations (which can be done through a blood donation) from a healthy donor are used to replace a recipient’s unhealthy stem cells, helping them heal and re-boost their blood and immune system. Not every person who registers will be matched to a patient and asked if they would like to donate, but each time a new donor signs up it brings hope to the 1,000+ Canadians in need of a life-altering transplant.

Six of our staff members have signed up for the stem cell registry. It took less than five minutes, swabbing the inside of your cheek and filling out a short form.

  • Approximately 1,000 people in Canada are waiting for a donor match from the stem cell registry
  • When a patient undergoes a stem cell transplant, it’s often their last hope for survival.
  • Matching donors are more likely to come from the same ethnic ancestry as the patient in need of a transplant. Diversity in the stem cell registry is key.
  • Contrary to common beliefs, most stem cell donations do not involve surgery; instead, the method for collecting your stem cells will most likely involve a process similar to donating blood.
  • Eligible donors must be between 17-35 years old.
Former captain Drew Beckie (left) with his completed registry package as other Atlético Ottawa staff swab in the background (credit: Atlético Ottawa)

Here are some of the key statistics that Bikram shared with the group:

  • Less than 4% of eligible donors sustain Canada’s blood system
  • Every 60 seconds, someone in Canada needs blood
  • 50% of all Canadians will need blood or know someone who will
  • 100,000 new donors are needed each year to help meet the needs of patients across the country
  • You can make all the difference!

Our work with Canadian Blood Services doesn’t stop there though, as Atlético’s front office heads to the Carling Donor Clinic this week. You can join Atlético Ottawa’s ‘Partner’s For Life’ team in the Canadian Blood Services App today, click here for more information or scan the QR code below.

Join Atlético Ottawa’s ‘Partners for Life’ Team today, scan the QR code above and help us Save a Life.

Atlético Ottawa begins the 2024 Canadian Premier League season at home to York United on Saturday, April 13, 2024.

Get your tickets here to witness the start of an electric season of professional soccer in Ottawa, and support Canadian Blood Services with us.