What do birdies, eagles and an albatross all have to do with cord blood?

They all helped raise money to establish the OneMatch Public Cord Blood Bank, which will allow Canadian parents to donate their baby’s cord blood to any patient in need.

Along with funding from the provinces and territories, Canadian Blood Services agreed to raise $12.5 million in the first three years to help cover the $48 million total cost.

On Sept. 22nd, the first annual Canadian Blood Services Charity Golf Tournament took place at the Marshes Golf Club in Ottawa.

Organizers raised more than $65,000 to help establish the new cord blood bank.

Participants included corporate and healthcare partners, employees and supporters of blood and stem cell donation. One player scored a hole in one.

“We are thrilled with the success of this first fundraising event for the national public cord blood bank,” says Steve Harding,
executive director of development.

“It was a great opportunity for supporters to have some fun and rally behind a new and unique program that will fill a gap in our healthcare system.”

Canada is the only one of the eight leading industrial countries without a national public cord blood bank. Cord blood is a rich source of immature stem cells. These cells allow for more matching possibilities. This is critical for patients, such as those from Canada’s many ethnically diverse communities, unable to find matches today.

The cord blood bank will begin in Ottawa and then roll out in select cities in Canada over the next four years with the goal to
collect 20,000 cord blood units within eight years.