February 2, 2019 4:41 pm

Indigenous hockey coaches give blood in hopes of finding stem cell match for young Manitoba boy

Waywayseecappo Wolverines swab their cheeks.

Michael Draven/ Global News

Canadian Blood Services has partnered with Hockey Gives Blood for a month long stem cell campaign.

Members of the Waywayseecappo Wolverines hockey team got to find out their blood type and #GetSwabbed to join the stem cell registry Saturday at CBS.

The team got to meet 5-year-old Tanner McLeod, an Indigenous boy who needs a stem cell transplant.

Tanner was diagnosed with a rare form of anemia called sideroblastic anemia, when he was six months old. As part of his treatment, Tanner receives monthly blood transfusions to replenish his red blood cells.

Tanner McLeod, 5, with his mother Miranda.

Miranda McLeod/Facebook

Everyone between 17-35 years of age is welcome to join the stem cell registry, but this campaign is looking for young men with a more diverse ethnic ancestry to join Canada’s Lifeline.

Only about one per cent of registrants are Indigenous, despite the fact Indigenous peoples make up about 4.5 per cent of Canada’s population.

The goal of the campaign is 3,000 online registrations.

Hockey Gives Blood was formed in the wake of the Humboldt tragedy. They’ve partnered with Canadian Blood Services to create awareness among the hockey community of the importance of blood and stem cell donation.

WATCH: Canadian Blood Services: The donation process

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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