In August, more than two dozen business leaders and medical professionals from Canada and Brazil made the epic journey to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Their goal was to raise awareness and funds for Canadian Blood Services’ $12.5 million campaign For All Canadians to build Canada’s national public umbilical cord blood bank.

Umbilical cords, which are currently discarded after childbirth, are a rich source of stem cells that can provide renewed life for many patients who are waiting for an unrelated stem cell match. Canada is the only G8 country without a national public cord blood bank.

The fundraising trek, dubbed #Climb4Cord, was led by Canadian Blood Services CEO Dr. Graham Sher, and included members of the Canadian Blood Services family, senior business executives, and other campaign supporters.

A significant initiative within Canadian Blood Services’ overarching cord blood fundraising campaign, For All Canadians, #Climb4Cord organizers aimed to raise $250,000 in personal fundraising and $250,000 in sponsorship. “What better way to visualize the daily uphill battle faced by nearly 1,000 Canadian patients awaiting a stem cell match than to climb 19,340 feet to the top of the highest peak in Africa?” notes Dr. Sher.

The #Climb4Cord team hired world class trekking company Tusker Trail to lead the two-week climb up Africa’s highest mountain.

Meet The Climbers

Jeff Seider, VP, MMM Group Limited

Jarred Seider, Masters of Financial Economics candidate, University of Toronto

Mitchell Seider, Student, McGill University

Jordan Seider, Student, Forest Hill Collegiate Institute

Robin Hibberd, Executive Vice President, Scotiabank

Jean-Paul Bédard, VP, Public Affairs, Canadian Blood Services

Dr. Paul Doucet, #Climb4Cord Medical Support Team

Nancy Rector, Partner, Deloitte

Derek Amery, Head of Canadian Fixed Income, HSBC Global Asset Management Ltd.

Heidi Elmoazzen, Project Director, National Public Cord Blood Bank, Canadian Blood Services

Linda Hartley, Vice President, Global Transaction Banking, CIBC

Ross Rosier, Senior Location Executive, South Western Ontario, IBM Canada Ltd.

Katherine Serrano, Research Associate, Canadian Blood Services

Dr. Graham Sher, CEO, Canadian Blood Services

Jaime Stein, Senior Manager, Social Media, ING Direct

David Hartley, Vice President, National Broking, Aon Reed Stenhouse

Andrea Frenk, Winner of the Bob Cole Summit Award TerumoBCT

Daniel Schustermann

Sue-Ann Blakely, Research Associate, Canadian Blood Services

Tony Carroll, Senior Manager, GlaxoSmithKline Inc.

Tim Williams, Regional Partnership Specialist, North/Eastern Ontario, Canadian Blood Services

Dr. Tanya Petraszko, Medical Director, National Public Cord Blood Bank, Canadian Blood Services

Mathias Haun, Director, Strategic Planning, Tissues, Canadian Blood Services

Sydney Hibberd, Student, The Hotchkiss School

Neil McGee, #Climb4Cord Medical Support Team

To learn more about the trek and to sponsor a participant, visit