January 7, 2016 11:52 pm

North Vancouver RCMP hold stem cell drive for one of their own

WATCH: North Vancouver RCMP members are supporting a longtime volunteer who's now facing a life threatening illness. Linda Aylesworth looks at how you can help save a life. Today's News Hour on Global BC Health Matters is brought to you by Pharmasave.


Members of the North Vancouver RCMP’s 14th Street detachment held a stem cell drive Thursday in hopes of helping one of their own.

Nancy Taylor, who has volunteered with North Vancouver RCMP’s community policing division, was recently diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The only chance for a cure is a stem cell transplant.

A quarter of those in need of such a transplant find suitable donors among family members. But Taylor is among the 75 per cent who must rely on the kindness of friends and strangers.

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Her mixed ethnicity (she is part Dutch and Indonesian) complicates the search since people of similar ethnic backgrounds have a better chance of matching.

That is why the Canadian Blood Services OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network is hoping to expand the diversity of its registry. The process, which takes about 15 minutes, involves filling out a questionnaire and rubbing a cotton swab on the inside of your mouth for a DNA sample.

While anyone between the ages of 17 and 35 is encouraged to register, OneMatch hopes to also enrol more men. Their stem cell donations tend to have a better outcome for transplant recipients.

Taylor, who is currently undergoing a grueling chemotherapy regime, says today’s drive provided a much-needed morale boost.

She hopes her story will not only help her find a match, but benefit other patients searching for compatible donors

She hopes more people check out the OneMatch website to find a registration clinic near them.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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