Nearly 1,000 Canadian Patients Are Waiting For A Stem Cell Transplant


Canadian Blood Services is hosting a three-day pop-up barber shop event to raise awareness about the need for stem cell donors and help interested individuals register to become stem cell donors. The event will encourage young males between the ages of 17-35 to register to become stem cell donors since they generally produce more stem cells and can improve recipient outcomes.

The pop-up barber shop will take place from Saturday, Feb. 11 until Monday, Feb. 13, 2023, at Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga. Right now, nearly 1,000 patients in Canada are waiting for their stem cell transplant, and still don’t know if they’ll find their life-saving stem cell match in time. Many people have difficulty finding a match due to a lack of diversity in stem cell registries around the world. Patients are more likely to find a matching donor among those who share their ethnic ancestry because stem cell transplants require a close genetic match between donor and recipient.

A barber shop is often the place where community is fostered, and trust is built – Canadian Blood Services is recreating that experience with its replica barber shop where individuals can get a haircut or beard trim for free while learning more about stem cell donation and the need for more registrants. Guests will take a seat in the chair of a professional barber to get a trim. If they are ready to become a potential donor, the Canadian Blood Services team will be there to help complete their registration. Ahead of Valentine’s Day, the pop-up barber shop will allow individuals to look and feel good while knowing that they are making a significant contribution.

“The past two years have been a huge challenge for our family, trying to balance between letting the girls live normal lives and keeping them safe from harmful situations,” says Sanjay Prajapati, father to twin toddlers Zoey and Misha Prajapati who need a stem cell donor to help them recover from a rare genetic condition. “We’re looking forward to connecting with the community during the pop-up event to enhance support for families like ours and help raise the needed awareness for more stem cell donors.”

Registry numbers have been impacted since the onset of the pandemic. This event is a new approach for the organization to connect with the community interactively and enroll new donors to the stem cell registry who can match and save a life.


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