Stem cell donation eligibility and registration
Am I eligible?
We encourage you to join Canada's national stem cell registry if you are:
- Between the ages of 17 and 35.
- In good general health.
- Free of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, or hepatitis B and C.
- Free of health issues, including cancer, blood diseases, insulin-dependent diabetes, certain heart conditions, etc.
- Willing to be a donor to any patient in need.
- Covered under provincial, military or RCMP health plans.
Québec residents interested in becoming stem cell donors must register with Héma-Québec.
Why our registry needs more diversity
Canada's national stem registry should be as diverse as our country.
Many people have difficulty finding a match due to a lack of diversity in stem cell registries around the world. We need donors from as many ethnic and mixed-race backgrounds as possible.
Some patients have many potential donors because they have inherited commonly found genetic markers on their white blood cells. These markers occur with varying frequency in different ethnic groups, for instance, those common in Caucasians may rarely be found in the Asian community, and vice versa.
While not always the case, patients are more likely to find a matching donor among those who share their ethnic ancestry, which makes an ethnically diverse donor base extremely important. If you come from an ethnically diverse or mixed-race background, your donation could be the lifesaving match a patient has been waiting for.