The CDI campus in Winnipeg held their "In Honour of Chantelle" blood drive on June 25, 2009, with students, staff and members of the community turning out to donate blood to a worthy cause.
Chantelle Chornoby, a CDI Winnipeg student, had a relapse of leukemia in May 2009, causing her fellow students and teachers to rally around her. They promptly organized both a blood drive and an informational session about the need for bone marrow donors - especially from aboriginal communities.
"Her cause is very important to me, and to our college, and so we got everybody out here so everybody, not just Chantelle, gets the help that they need." Tahl East, Winnipeg CDI campus director told an APTN reporter.
A representative for the Canadian Blood Services, Karen Adams, told APTN that the need for aboriginal blood, bone marrow and stem cell donors increases each year, and without the community's support, Chantelle, who is a member of the War Lakes First Nations, may never find a compatible match.
The staff and students at CDI College hope their recent efforts will raise the awareness of Canadian aboriginals to the plight of those in their community fighting cancer. And their efforts seem to be working.
"I heard in the newspaper about this one girl (Chantelle) who was diagnosed with leukemia and it's just such a young age to have it, so I decided to make a difference and come down. See if I could help in some way." 22 year-old Winnipeg native Patrick Murdock told APTN.
Currently in Canada there are more than 700 patients awaiting a compatible stem cell donor. If you would like more information on Canadian Blood Services' "One Match" program, please head to http://www.onematch.ca.