U of R hosts stem cell swabbing initiative to help save lives through national database – Globalnews.ca

Posted: September 4, 2017 at 10:43 pm

At just four-years-old, Erica Honoways son has gone through more than most people will experience in a lifetime.

In February 2016, the family received devastating news, her son Lincoln had been diagnosed with bone marrow failure. He was just three years old at the time.

Lincoln needed a bone marrow transplant, and doctors were only able to find two matches in the entire world. The first donor fell through, so Lincoln was left with only one option.

It was terrifying. We didnt know what we were dealing with, Honoway said. We didnt know what the chances were they would find a match for him. Even if they did, we didnt know if he would make it through the transplant, so it was the scariest experience of our lives.

After the blood transfusions, chemotherapy, radiation and bone marrow transplant, Lincoln is now a happy and active four year old, all thanks to an unknown hero.

This person has just been our angel, Honoway said. We love her and we dont even know her. We say her We have a feeling its a woman but we dont know anything about this person. We dont know where in the world they live, we dont know if its a man or a woman, we dont know anything. But all we know is that they are our hero.

Honoway added that they must wait a minimum of two years before they can meet the donor.

Lincolns successful transplant was the reason Honoway and her family were supporting the University of Reginas Get Swabbed event on Monday, to encourage students between the ages of 17 and 35 to get their cheeks swabbed and enter a national stem call database.

I heard about Erica and Lincoln and I just thought it was amazing how someone just saved his life, and she doesnt even know who he is or who she is, I just think its amazing, U of R Stem Cell Club president Sylvia Okonofua said. I felt like if I take up this initiative and actually run drives where people [can get] on the stem cell registry, [it can] help save a life someday.

Getting students involved and realizing their impact of their involvement through something like this was one of the main goals, U of R student engagement co-ordinator Doug OBrien said. Another goal of having todays Get Swabbed initiative was obviously to support the stem cell database for Canada and through the One Match program.

Approximately 80 students took part in Mondays Get Swabbed event, and organizers are hoping to increase that number for the next event on Sept. 14.

Its a simple way to help save a life.

I hope people realize that they have the opportunity to save someones life, imagine what that would feel like, Honoway said. Youd get to know forever that you saved another humans life. Its pretty special.

2017Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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U of R hosts stem cell swabbing initiative to help save lives through national database - Globalnews.ca

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