David Lehberg, Eastern Co-Chair of the For All Canadians fundraising campaign, addresses the audience.

This past May, Canadian Blood Services hosted the third annual “CEO Thank You Luncheon” at its Head Office location in Ottawa to thank our corporate financial donors and our OneMatch community partners for the contributions they have made to Canadian Blood Services.

“I am delighted you are here today. It is extremely important to us at Canadian Blood Services that we take the time to recognize and thank you for your generosity,” said Steve Harding, Executive Director, Development, to the approximately 100 attendees.

As well as unveiling the updated donor recognition wall reflecting new financial donations and new community partners in 2011/2012, special recognition was given to Standard Life and the TK Financial Group. Standard Life has hosted blood donor clinics in their Vancouver offices for the past 20 years and the TK Financial Group donated a total of $105,000 over 13 years to the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network from their Fall Classic Golf Tournament.

The main focus of the luncheon was the For All Canadians fundraising campaign in support of the OneMatch Public Cord Blood Bank. Leah Hollins, Chair of Canadian Blood Services’ Board of Directors, welcomed David Lehberg, President and CEO of Knightstone Capital Management as the new Co-Chair of the For All Canadians fundraising campaign.  David, whose daughter received a stem cell transplant as part of her treatment for cancer almost 10 years ago, spoke about his personal interest and commitment to the success of the campaign.

“When my daughter was given a clean bill of health, I asked her doctor what I could do to help…to help those who would have to go through what our family went through when waiting for a bone marrow or stem cell match and to help doctors have greater access to stem cells that can save lives,” said David in his address.

“His response was that I should work to raise awareness and help recruit more donors, especially more diverse donors, to the unrelated registry so there would be a greater chance of a match for many more Canadian patients.”

Which is why David didn’t hesitate when asked to join the For All Canadians fundraising campaign which will raise $12.5 million, to help establish a national OneMatch public cord blood bank. This national cord blood bank, which will cost a total of $48 million to establish, will provide mothers the opportunity to donate their umbilical cords after birth, so valuable stem cells can be harvested from the blood.

Everyone attending agreed with Dr. Sher when he stated that it’s an exciting time for both the stem cell and blood business.