Saving a life can be as simple as 1-2-3

1. Register.
Go to and follow the steps to register to be a donor.

2. Swab.
Once you’re registered, you’ll get a buccal swab kit (used to swab the inside of your cheek to collect DNA) in the mail with clear instructions and a postage-paid return envelope. When it reaches the Canadian Blood Services lab, our team will extract your DNA for typing and enter your information into our database. You could be a potential match for a patient anywhere in the world.

3. Donate.
If you’re found to be a match, and you’re an eligible donor, you can donate. If you’re a match, a Canadian Blood Services team member will contact you and invite you in for a health assessment. If you’re eligible, you could donate stem cells in one of two ways. Many people wonder about the procedure and whether it’s painful to donate stem cells. In 80 per cent of cases, stem cells are taken from blood — a relatively painless and easy procedure. In 20 per cent of cases where we need to take stem cells from the hip area, the procedure is nothing more than a day in the hospital. You’ll be put under general anesthesia, and will feel a little sore afterward, similar to the bruising you may feel after falling on ice.