In February 2007, Oliver Schroer was diagnosed with a myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a disease affecting bone marrow and blood. Dispite great efforts to quell the syndrome, the disease evolved into a form of leukemia in a few short months. For the next year and a half, Oliver underwent three forms of intensive chemotherapy and continual blood transfusions to help stabilize his condition. His treatment and care at Princess Margaret Hospital was remarkable and unparalled. Sadly, the leukemia proved too strong.
On the morning of July 3rd, 2008, after a long battle with leukemia, Oliver Schroer past away at Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto.
In his battle, Oliver became an advocate for fighting leukemia, and a strong promoter for donating blood. You can help continue this fight against leukemia and cancer.
Marrow Donors are always needed. If you are healthy and under the age of 50, the Canadian Registry is looking for you to sign up for this programme.
How does it work?
Bone Marrow donation and transplants has come a long way. Today, it is a far cry from the old, painful way. Transplants are done with stem cells. Stem cells are in your normal blood, and can thus be harvested by normal blood-taking procedures. They give the donor a drug to help boost stem cell production, and then draw their blood, centrifuge the stem cells, and reintroduce the blood to the donor. The donor is fully conscious for this procedure, and leaves minus 250cc of fluid. The pain and difficulty is gone – but the need persists.
Be generous and sign up for this program. Chances are you will never be called, but Canada lags far behind some other countries like Germany in their Bone Marrow Registry. Someone down the line will deeply appreciate your generosity.
Visit www.blood.ca for more information.
One of Oliver's Sunshine Coast (BC) students, Chelsea Sleep, began a ribbon campaign in late-2007, raising awareness for Leukemia and Oliver.
The orange ribbon is an established symbol of Leukemia awareness and, coincidentally, a favourite colour of Oliver's. Chelsea's intent was to add a personal touch through music:
"I've been adding a bright orange ribbon to the scrolls of all my students and fellow fiddler's violin’s who know at least one Oli tune," Chelsea says. "Those who didn't already know an Oli tune were taught one and then given a ribbon."
Musicians of all walks of life are now showing their support by adding ribbons to the necks (or other parts) of their instruments.
For more information on this awareness campaign, contact Chelsea Sleep at
Ride to Conquer Cancer
The 200km Ride to Conquer Cancer is a bicycle voyage from Toronto to Hamilton, raising pledges and awareness for cancer. It takes place every June.
In 2008 Oliver's oncologist, Dr. Andre Schuh, rode with the 'Heme Team'. The team specifically raises money for leukemia/hematology research. Follow Dr. Schuh and the Heme Team and help them fight leukemia.
Relay for Life
A Relay for Life event is happening near you. Visit their site and find out how you can participate, or how you can support your local relay runners.