Graham's Corner

Behind a successful organization, there’s a group or groups of people who stand firmly behind it. At Canadian Blood Services, it’s our dedicated donors, volunteers, and partners who contribute their blood (and sometimes even sweat and tears as you will read), their time, effort, or make a financial contribution.

For this and much more we say thank you. For believing in what we do, and for your trust in us to do the right thing as we reach for new heights. It has not been, nor will it always be, an easy road to travel. But the journey is much easier with you all coming along for the ride.

Part of reaching for new heights includes taking on responsibility for programs such as organ and tissue donation and transplantation. But it is our foray into establishing a national umbilical cord blood bank that will take us higher than we’ve ever been, both figuratively and literally.

In August, I led a climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro to support our program of building Canada’s public umbilical cord blood bank. I invite you to read the feature on this exciting endeavour and meet our climbing team.

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? The intent is to both raise awareness of the need for stem cells, and to raise funds toward the cord blood campaign. Joining us on the climb were some partners, friends, and staff of Canadian Blood Services, all of whom are committed to helping us raise the funds.

This two-week (nine climbing days), once-in-a-lifetime journey began several months ago. Many of the climbers on the team sacrificed personal time to train and fundraise, all before we even stepped foot on the plains of Africa. The blood, sweat, and tears that we faced were a small token compared to the real sacrifice the patients and family members of those awaiting a stem cell match face every single day. To the climbing team, our sponsors, family and friends, and all of those Canadians who donated in support of this great endeavour, I offer my heartfelt thanks.