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Cheers To Life: Chantel Turns Two!

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The Citizen

522 King Street West

Toronto, ON M5V 1K4

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Chantel Turns 2 Logo


Please join us to raise money for Tomorrow Stems From You, a new campaign to build an expansion of the stem cell tranplant unit at Juravinski Hospital in Hamilton. We will also have Canadian Blood Services & One Match on site to #GetSwabbed if you'd like to be a potential stem cell donor! All the money we raise will be going towards Tomorrow Stems From You. Our goal is to raise $10,000 and have 50 swabbers! There will be prizes, a silent auction, and more. Scroll down for more details about the campaign...


You can purchase Early Bird tickets online for $25 or Regular Admission at the door for $40.

Click here to donate: Donate Now Yes, a tax receipt will be provided for all donations made.


Background story

Chantel was "reborn" on May 19th, 2016, thanks to a life saving stem cell transplant she received at the Juravinski Cancer Centre, in Hamilton. Chantel received her new stem cells from an anonymous donor who helped save her life. This allowed Chantel to be Leukemia free and get back to regular life, with her young son and husband. Now we are celebrating this wonderful milestone with this event!

Why did Chantel need a stem cell transplant?

While pregnant, Chantel went in to do regular checkups and blood work to ensure her pregnancy was going smoothly. After a routine blood test, the doctors at Sunnybrook Hospital discovered that Chantel's platelets were extremely low. Platelets are the part of your blood that clots, and without them, bleeding out while giving birth was a high risk. The thorough doctors did more testing to find out what was going on, which eventually led to a bone marrow test, which came back positive for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) with a Philadelphia Positive chromosome. Essentially, chromosome 9 and 22 in Chantel's DNA swapped, and the cancer began multiplying throughout her body. It began in her bone marrow, and within a few days had spread to her blood as well. The doctors warned that next it could spread to her spine, brain, and then the rest of her body, if she didn't receive treatment right away. Her prognosis was mere 3 or 4 months to live, without treatment.

Luckily, the cancer did not affect her unborn baby, but the doctors stressed that they needed to get the baby out right away to begin chemotherapy, otherwise it would poison the baby. After a few days of convincing, and speaking to the pediatric doctors, Chantel and Euan had no choice but to agree. The doctors reassured them that the baby was strong enough and large enough to be born early. Lincoln was born 6 weeks prematurely at 34 weeks gestation (Chantel was only 7.5 months pregnant.) He was healthy and stayed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Sunnybrook for a short time before going home a couple weeks later.

Chantel's intense regimen of chemotherapy began on Christmas Eve 2015. They spent Christmas and New Years living in the cancer ward at Sunnybrook Hospital, while Lincoln stayed a couple floors below them in the NICU. Her chemotherapy included multiple spinal taps, bone marrow tests, and toxic levels of chemo bags and drugs. Luckily, within one month, Chantel went into remission! Little did she know, however, that the battle to survive had just begun.

Chantel's Oncologist at Sunnybrook Hospital updated Chantel that she had two choices to survive: Either live on a continuous chemo regimen for two long years with a high chance of the cancer coming back, or have a stem cell transplant (bone marrow transplant) right away with a low chance of the cancer coming back. Chantel nervously agreed to have a transplant. Her brother offered to be a donor, but unfortunately he was not a match. Then the oncologist reached out to One Match's national database to find an unrelated donor. Within a few months, they found a 10/10 match! Chantel and her family were ecstatic! The oncologist called Princes Margaret Hospital to book a transplant, but they had some bad news. Due to cut backs and lack of resources, Princess Margaret had a more than a month long wait list and had closed their doors to new stem cell transplant patients. Chantel would have no choice but to move to a remote location in the USA, for at least a year, to get her transplant, or sit on a waiting list and risk losing her donor, or worse, she could fall out of remission while waiting.

Chantel's husband could not sit back and wait for an answer. He was outraged by the lack of beds available for stem transplant patients. He learned that there were over 200 people waiting in Ontario, and some were even dying, while on the list. He did not want his wife to be just one of those numbers, so he called every major newspaper and TV network he could think of, to bring the story to the media. An uproar ensued, following an article that an incredible journalist released about Chantel and the crisis, explaining what was happening. Here is the first article of many on the subject:

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/04/19/ontario-to-spend-100m-outsourcing-life-saving-transplants-to-us.html

Luckily, two amazing things came out of this article:

- The stem cell transplant doctor at Juravinski Hospital Centre Centre in Hamilton saw the article and called to say they would take Chantel immediately.

- The Minister of Health received incredibly negative media attention around the epidemic of not having enough beds in Ontario for stem cell transplants. As a result, a few months later, they announced plans to expand transplant centres at Juravinski Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital, as well as build a brand new transplant centre at Sunnybrook Hospital to create more beds for the increasing need of stem cell transplants!

Chantel's transplant date was set for May 19th, 2016. She checked in a week earlier, and began living in an isolation room. The doctors and nurses began her highly intensive chemo and full body radiation regimen to essentially kill off Chantel's immune system to almost nothing. She was incredibly weak and at a dangerous risk for infection. Due to this risk, she could not hold her newborn baby until being released, which gave her an enormous motivation to get healed up as quickly as possible. While in isolation, Chantel's body quickly deteriorated and the nurses were able to successfully give her the stem cell transplant. It was like receiving blood through a bag and no surgery was required. Chantel's family was praying daily that the transplant would take and not be rejected by her body. They waited to see what would happen. While waiting, Chantel underwent extreme symptoms and painful side effects of the transplant. She also contracted E. Coli poisoning, which caused an alarmingly high fever of over 104 degrees and required help from the Intensive Care Unit. After some time, slowly her blood counts began to rise again. Slowly, her immune system began to grow back. Slowly, her body accepted the new cells and Chantel's healing journey could really begin.

After a long and painful recovery at home, Chantel had to learn how to build up her strength again, including being able to walk without support. Fast forward to two years later, and Chantel is pretty well back to normal and happily still cancer free. She really wanted to give back to those who have helped her, and so she formed this exciting event for the first time!

Please join us to raise money for Tomorrow Stems From You and we will also have #GetSwabbed on site if you'd like to be a potential stem cell donor! All the money raised will be going to Tomorrow Stems From You. Our goal is to raise $10,000 and have 50 swabbers!

CLICK HERE TO DONATE: Donate Now Yes, a tax receipt will be provided for all donations made :)


PLEASE NOTE THAT WE HAVE A MAX CAPACITY OF 200 PEOPLE, SO PLEASE PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS EARLY TO SECURE YOUR SPOT.

DO YOU KNOW MORE PEOPLE WHO WOULD LIKE TO ATTEND, DONATE, OR ARE BETWEEN THE AGES OF 17-35 AND ARE INTERESTED IN #GETSWABBED? FEEL FREE TO EITHER PURCHASE TICKETS FOR THEM, SEND THEM THE 'DONATE NOW' LINK ABOVE, OR REACH OUT TO CHANTEL AT CHANTEL.CRISP@GMAIL.COM TO ADD THEM TO THE INVITE LIST.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT :)



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What is Tomorrow Stems From You?

Located in Hamilton, Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre is one of three hospitals in Ontario providing all forms of adult stem cell transplants. Time is of the essence for patients with blood cancers, so Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre Foundation is asking for the public’s support to help increase capacity for stem cell transplants and give more tomorrows to patients across the province in need of this potentially life-saving treatment.

The Tomorrow Stems From You™ campaign has set a $3.5-million goal to enable the expansion of a dedicated and specialized clinical space, as well as the purchase of essential equipment, so that Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre can provide 50 per cent more cancer patients with stem cell transplants. Stem cell transplants are an essential component of treatment for some patients with blood-related cancers, such as lymphoma, leukemia, and other hematological (blood) disorders. Stem cell transplants are complex and resource-intensive, requiring very specialized facilities and highly trained clinical teams. Both the treatment and potential complications from a stem cell transplant require a patient to remain in hospital for an extended period of time followed by daily hospital visits, which is one of the factors underlying the importance of this campaign.

“It is an exciting time as this expansion will allow us to provide care to more patients and their families,” says Dr. Kylie Lepic, Hematologist and Physician Spokesperson at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre for the Tomorrow Stems From You™ campaign. “It will enable us, as clinicians, to provide leading-edge treatment in a purpose-built space. A space optimized for patients going through the biggest challenge of their life.”

This expansion involves a dedicated clinical area to house 15 individually-equipped private inpatient rooms, five individually-equipped outpatient bays and a dedicated sterile compounding area for chemotherapy preparation. Two new examination rooms and an expanded work area at Juravinski Cancer Centre will also be integrated into this project. The new unit will allow adults patients from across the province to receive stem cell transplants at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre.

While 90 per cent of the capital development costs for the new stem cell unit will be paid for by the Ministry of Health, Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre Foundation needs the support of the community to raise the remaining 10 per cent in addition to the cost of equipment.

The Tomorrow Stems From You™ campaign can mean the difference between life and death for patients with blood cancer, and community support is key to providing more opportunities for these patients to have a tomorrow. To learn more about the campaign, to read the inspiring stories of patients who now have a tomorrow thanks to a stem cell transplant, please visit hamiltonhealth.ca/stems.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE: Donate Now


Can you be a stem cell donor?

At any given time there are hundreds of Canadian patients who are searching for an unrelated stem cell donor. The most common need for a stem cell transplant is to treat some forms of cancers or blood disorders, which may cause an inability to generate healthy red blood cells that fight infection or healthy platelets that control excess bleeding.

Fewer than 25% of patients who need stem cell transplants are able to find a match within their own families - meaning 75% have to rely on the generosity of volunteer donors who want to Give Life.

The genetic markers used to match donors to patients occur with different frequency in different populations. For this reason, a person's best chance of finding a matching donor is among those with similar ancestry. That’s why we need donors from as many communities as possible: for diverse representation that meets the needs of all Canadian patients.

Today, three out of four stem cell donors chosen to help give life are male, half of them under the age of 36. With younger, ethnically diverse males registering with us to donate, we can better meet patients' needs and increase the likelihood of successful transplants. For that reason, we want more ethnically diverse males donors between the ages of 17 and 35 to register. Women between the age of 17 and 35 are also needed.

#GetSwabbed

The “#GetSwabbed” Campaign is an annual coast-to-coast initiative designed to engage and recruit young and diverse potential stem cell donors.

Hundreds of Canadians require a donor for a stem cell transplant every year, and more than 75 per cent will rely on someone they don’t know to save their lives.

A wide variety of diseases and disorders are treated with stem cell transplants. These include specific forms of cancer like leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma and inherited immune system and metabolic disorders.

The genetic markers used to match donors to patients occur with different frequencies in different ethnic groups.

Given that Canada has been identified as a growing mosaic of ethnic populations, and that one of the main challenges in this country is finding suitable stem cell donors to meet the needs of ethnically diverse patients, it is important to continue growing the ethnic composition of the stem cell registrant list.

There continues to be an immediate need for healthy young, male donors.

Younger male donor stem cells can offer patients a possible better outcome by reducing post-transplant complications such as graft vs. host disease and the reconstitution of the immune system. Transplant doctors predominantly choose a young male donor for their patients.

Registration

It’s easy to register as a stem cell donor.

Registration can be completed online at blood.ca/stem-cells or by attending a swabbing event .

Once the person has reviewed the information and registered online, Canadian Blood Services will mail them a buccal swab kit. Once donors receive the buccal swab kit, they are asked to swab the inside of their cheek and mail it back. Once Canadian Blood Services received the kit, it will be processed and then the donor is fully registered.

At a swabbing event, all it takes is ten minutes to fill in a general health questionnaire, a simple swab of the cheek and a willingness to donate to any patient in need.

Donation

Not everyone who registers will be matched to a patient and asked to donate, but each registrant provides hope for those waiting. A person could, however, be a match within a few months of registering, a year later or even seven years later.

That’s why it’s important to understand what’s involved – and the commitment – before registering.

When selected as a potential match for a patient, Canadian Blood Services will contact the registrant to inquire if they are still willing and able to proceed with the donation. Additional health testing will then be performed to ensure the suitability of the match.

There are two methods a registrant could be asked to donate; from the peripheral blood or from the bone marrow. These lifesaving stem cells are transferred to the patient to restore their health.

Link Between Blood and Stem Cell Donation

The need for blood and stem cells go hand-in-hand.

Patients who are so sick they need a stem cell transplant to survive often require large quantities of blood and blood products as part of their treatment.

The most common need for a stem cell transplant is to treat some forms of cancers or blood disorders, which may cause an inability to generate healthy red blood cells that fight infection or healthy platelets that control excess bleeding.

Depending on the type of cancer, transfusions of red blood cells or platelets may be necessary – with the number of transfusions ranging from one to many on a daily basis for some patients.

Patients undergoing transplant surgery are in immediate need of blood and blood products. We urge everyone to continue helping Canadian patients by donating blood regularly at a local blood donor clinic. Please go online at blood.ca to find out more on becoming a blood donor.


DO YOU KNOW MORE PEOPLE WHO WOULD LIKE TO ATTEND, DONATE, OR ARE BETWEEN THE AGES OF 17-35 AND ARE INTERESTED IN #GETSWABBED? FEEL FREE TO EITHER PURCHASE TICKETS FOR THEM, SEND THEM THE 'DONATE NOW' LINK ABOVE, OR REACH OUT TO CHANTEL AT CHANTEL.CRISP@GMAIL.COM TO ADD THEM TO THE INVITE LIST.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT :)

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Date and Time

Location

The Citizen

522 King Street West

Toronto, ON M5V 1K4

Canada

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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