BRAMPTON: Community supporters and guests gathered at a special event in Peel Region on Feb. 27 to hear about the need for stem cell matches, and learn more about Canadian Blood Services’ Cord Blood Bank.
“Cord blood saves lives,” said Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, a special guest at the event. “We are fortunate to have a public cord blood collection site right here in Peel Region, and I encourage all new moms in our community to consider donating to help save the lives of patients in need.”
Cord blood is found in umbilical cords and the placenta, which are usually discarded after childbirth. However, it contains valuable stem cells that can help treat up to 80 diseases and disorders such as lymphoma, leukemia, or other blood cancers. At any given moment, 1,200 Canadians are waiting for a stem cell match. Only half will ever find one.
“Only one in four people who need a stem cell transplant will find a match within their family,” said Dr. Heidi Elmoazzen, Director of Cord Blood Bank and Stem Cell Manufacturing for Canadian Blood Services.
“It is harder to find matches in ethnically-diverse populations, like here in Peel. This is why public donations are so important. New moms donating their babies’ cord blood, and young adult males of diverse ethnic backgrounds registering to be stem cell donors, will provide more opportunities to find these matches.” Peel Region is home to one of four Canadian cord blood collection sites, William Osler Health System’s Brampton Civic Hospital. Canadian Blood Services’ Cord Blood Bank helps to provide stem cells for patients in Canada and around the world, as part of an international stem cell network.
A total of $12.5 million was donated by individuals, corporations and foundations in support of the Campaign For All Canadians to help build Canadian Blood Services’ Cord Blood Bank. Now, financial donations to Canadian Blood Services help educate and recruit the new moms who generously donate their cord blood, and fund new innovations in cord blood banking.
Canadian Blood Services is a national, non-profit charitable organization that manages the blood supply in all provinces and territories of Canada (outside of Quebec). Financial donations fund programs and projects in four areas: blood, stem cells, organs and tissues and research and innovation. For more information on the impact of financial giving at Canadian Blood Services, visit http://give.blood.ca