An unprecedented number of people — 4,025, to be exact — signed up as donors with Canada’s national stem cell and bone marrow network as part of a campaign to attract Chinese registrants.

OneMatch, a division of Canadian Blood Services, held the drive at Aberdeen Centre in Richmond in conjunction with another event in Toronto on Saturday.

Chinese blood cancer patients have a 10 per cent chance of finding a stem cell donor because only two per cent of Canadians signed up with the registry are Chinese.

“It was really historic,” Sue Smith, executive director of OneMatch, said of the number of new registrants.

“The ultimate goal (was) 1,500 to 2,000, so this just blew the roof off things.”

She said having a speaker representing the face of the cause, like Ryan Chu — whose story ran in Metro Vancouver on March 25 — also helped.

“It is our hope that this particular drive becomes an annual one,” Smith said.

“Get a swab kit in the mail and ... this will truly make a difference.”