Steven Pho would be eight times more likely to beat his leukemia if he were Caucasian.

Being white wouldn’t give the 23-year-old Chinese Canadian extra immunity to blood cancer, but it would boost his chances of finding a match in the stem cell and bone marrow registry.

As is true of other ethnic communities, the Chinese are grossly underrepresented in the pool of potential stem cell donors for patients suffering from life-threatening diseases such as lymphoma and myeloma, aplastic anemia and other immune dysfunctions and genetic disorders.

That’s why a group of volunteers from the Chinese community got together last fall to found OtherHalf —Chinese Stem Cell Initiative to educate the community about stem cell donations and try to increase the number of prospective donors among Canada’s 1.1 million residents with Chinese roots.