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Héma-Québec celebrates 10,000th cord blood donation

Mai Duong smiles following a news conference in Montreal, Tuesday, September 16, 2014.
Mai Duong smiles following a news conference in Montreal, Tuesday, September 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

MONTREAL – Héma-Québec reached a milestone Monday – receiving its 10,000th donation of cord blood.

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The blood found in umbilical cords is especially rich in stem cells, which can help patients who suffer from cancer and other diseases regain healthy blood and immune systems.

READ MORE: Mai Duong celebrates one year after cord blood transplant

The organization is especially looking for non-Caucasian donors as just 20 per cent of the samples they receive come from ethnic minorities.

WATCH: Saving lives with cord blood donations
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It’s a predicament that Montreal mother Mai Duong understands wholeheartedly.

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Duong, who was diagnosed with leukemia, got a second chance at life back in September of last year when a mother donated her newborn child’s umbilical cord blood.

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She was supposed to be on hand for the announcement, but had come down with the chicken pox.

READ MORE: ‘I’ve been very lucky’: Mai Duong doing well 7 months after stem cell transplant

Héma-Québec emphasized that it is always looking for donors and expecting mothers can complete the paperwork to donate within minutes.

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