TORONTO, Jan. 11, 2013 /CNW/ - This morning Rhiannon Traill, President and CEO of The Economic Club of Canada announced the Club's official support for Canadian Blood Services campaign called "For All Canadians'. The announcement was made at the Club's Annual Economic Outlook Breakfast where approximately 1000 senior business people gathered to hear Canada's Chief Economists give their financial forecast for the upcoming year.
Canadian Blood Services oversees One Match, the Canadian national stem cell and marrow registry. This service facilitates matches between patients with blood diseases, such as leukemia and lymphoma, requiring stem cell therapies and their potential donors. The demand for stem cell transplants is growing at a staggering rate - in fact, it has tripled over the past five years. Right now there are nearly 1,000 Canadian patients searching for a stem cell match.
An important source of stem cells for clinical transplant therapy comes from umbilical cord blood. These stem cells offer improved outcomes for patients and are a readily available source since the umbilical cord is typically discarded as medical waste following delivery. Canada is the only G8 country without a national public cord blood bank.
Through a fundraising campaign called " For All Canadians," Canadian Blood Services is in the process of establishing a national public umbilical cord blood bank. Canadian Blood Services are seeking to raise $12.5 million in community support by 2014 to get this stem cell bank up and running, which will then be supported and maintained through funding from the provincial and territorial governments."When I first heard about this campaign it immediately stuck a chord with me and I instantly knew I wanted to be involved. My husband was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2010 so I know first hand how important a national umbilical cord bank is for Canadian's. It can literally mean the difference between life and death", says Traill.