Stem Cell Club

World Marrow Donor Day

September 2021

World Marrow Donor Day (WMDD) is a special day celebrated every year to thank stem cell donors worldwide. In honor of WMDD 2021, Stem Cell Club developed an array of videos featuring the powerful stories of Canadian donors, recipients, families, recruiters, and transplant staff. Stem Cell Club chapters across Canada will be sharing these videos through their social media from Sept. 18th to Sept. 29th. These videos will also be broadcast to an international audience during the WMDD 2021 24-hour live stream on September 18th:

Who do you swab for?

Donor recruiters from Stem Cell Club share what motivates them.

A message from donor recruiters whose lives have been personally impacted by stem cell donation.

Messages from Stem Cell Donors

Garrett and Ian discuss their donation experiences and why young men across Canada should sign up.

Robin discusses the letters he received from the anonymous recipient of his stem cells.

Donor-Recipient Stories

Susan and William: The story of a gay British man who donated his stem cells to save the life of a Canadian patient in need

Cory and David: A stem cell recipient and his donor from across the continent share their story and their special donor-recipient bond.

Colette and Benjamin: A French-Canadian woman and her unrelated stem cell donor from Germany remember their first meeting.

Stem cell recipients appeal to their communities to register as donors

Libby speaks to the Jewish community about how an Israeli unrelated donor saved her life.

Marissa reaches out to the Filipino community to register as donors.

Joel discusses the impact his Métis ancestry had on his chances of finding a match for transplant, and outlines the need to build trust with Indigenous peoples to support them to register as donors.

TikToks to support stem cell donation

Stories of patients in need of a stem cell transplantation.

Donor recruiters from Canada share their passion for stem cell donation.

What is stem cell donation?

Watch this whiteboard video to learn more about blood stem cell donation, how it helps patients in need, how the matching process works, and what donation looks like.

How are stem cells donated?

There are 2 ways in which stem cells can be donated:

  1. Blood - 90% of the time stem cells are obtained from a simple procedure that is similar to giving blood. A growth factor is used to increase stem cell count in blood, which is then collected in a procedure taking around 4-6 hours.
  2. Bone marrow - stem cell donation from bone marrow is necessary less than 10% of the time. The procedure is performed under anesthesia and donors who have undergone bone marrow donation report the feeling post-donation to be similar to falling on ice.

If matched with a patient, a physician will decide which method is best suited under the circumstances at hand. See the images below for details on how each procedure is performed.

What now?

Watch the World Marrow Donor Day 24hr live stream at

Register to be a stem cell donor today at