Thompson Rivers University

Stem cell campaign exceeds expectations

  Posted on: March 16, 2015

The first Thompson Rivers University WolfPack-led stem cell donor clinic to be held in Kamloops is being deemed a success.

In excess of 250 people attended the clinic which was held Mar 12 at the TRU Athletic offices at the Tournament Capital Centre.

“It exceeded my wildest dreams,” said WolfPack baseball player Alex Reid, who spearheaded the effort. “I can’t believe the response from the community and my second family — the WolfPack athletes.”

Reid felt not only was the event successful in getting possible donors for people needing transplants but also to get the issue more publicity.

“I feel that most people will identify with giving blood but this is the new technology on trying to save people’s lives with cancer,” said Reid. “We had a good mix today of athletics, people from the TRU, people from the community, and those with different ethnic backgrounds. I feel that it was really good.”

Reid wanted to stage the clinic after learning his step sister needed an immune system transplant for a form of lymphoma. He contacted Canadian Blood Services to help stage the clinic. His step sister was on hand for the clinic and spent some time talking with potential donors.

“She thought just bringing the issue to the forefront and to see so many people respond was a huge success,” said Reid. “Hopefully of the 250 people that came out, maybe we could get as many as 10 donors.”

At the clinic, potential donors were swabbed, with the swabs to be sent to Canadian Blood Services in Ottawa for testing. The donor’s information will be put into the One Match Registry and should there be a match, they will be contacted.

Gayle Voyer is the territory manager for Canadian Blood Services.

“This was great exposure for our program. We want more people to contact the One Match Registry and this was a good opportunity.”

She hopes that this becomes an annual event.

“Tying into TRU and the WolfPack is a great match. We are looking for people 17-35 as potential donors. Athletic males are the best candidates for a match. It was a great opportunity to spread the word and to let people know they can be on the registry until the age of 60.”

Reid was touched by the support shown by his fellow athletes.

“It means everything. They are my extended family. To have their support and have my back feels huge to me. If I could thank them all individually I would.”

Reid wanted to stage the clinic after learning his step sister needed an immune system transplant for a form of lymphoma. He contacted Canadian Blood Services to help stage the clinic. His relative was on hand for the clinic and spent some time talking with potential donors.

“She thought just bringing the issue to the forefront and to see so many people respond was a huge success,” Reid said. “Hopefully of the 250 people that came out, maybe we could get as many as 10 donors.”

Potential donors were swabbed at the clinic, with the swabs to be sent to Canadian Blood Services in Ottawa for testing. The donor’s information will be put into the One Match Registry and should there be a match, they will be contacted.

More information on the program
Phone: 1-888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6233)


TRU Athletics

Larry Read
Sports Information Officer
Thompson Rivers University
Phone: 250-377-6117
Email: lread@tru.ca