Graham's Corner

This is the message our new campaign is promoting to Canadians. It’s a strong message, designed to reach more Canadians and share with them the many ways they can get involved and save lives. We’re encouraging people to join the movement and give life by donating blood or registering to become a stem cell or organ donor.

One of the newest ways Canadians can give life is by donating their babies’ umbilical cord blood to Canadian Blood Services’ Cord Blood Bank. Cord blood donations can be made in any of our partner hospitals in Ottawa, Brampton, Edmonton or Vancouver.

On the homepage, we’re featuring two of our employees, Michelle and Nathaly, who made the decision to donate their babies’ cord blood when they gave birth. You’ll also read the remarkable story of two best friends, Julia and Cara, who gave birth on the same day, in the same hospital, and who also decided to donate their babies’ cord blood.

These women are part of a growing community of parents who feel strongly about contributing to the national public cord blood bank and offering hope to families whose loved ones are depending on a lifesaving stem cell match. But we need to do more to recruit more donors to the cord blood bank.

At any given time, hundreds of Canadians are searching for a stem cell donor. We especially need more donations from mothers of infants from ethnically diverse backgrounds. Finding a stem cell match can be like finding a needle in a haystack; donated cord blood from mixed-race babies can greatly improve the chances of a patient finding a stem cell match.

Because a newborn’s umbilical cord blood is a rich source of stem cells, the decision to donate cord blood can provide hope for the 75 per cent of patients who cannot find stem cell matches within their own families. It’s one of many ways we’re reminding Canadians they have the power to give life.

In this issue of Pulse, you’ll also read Reg Parker’s inspirational story. Reg has used blood products since he was a child to treat an immune deficiency, and he’s also an organ recipient. Reg is living proof of the importance of blood and organ donation. In his words, “I’m here because of donors.”

Cord blood donation, blood donation, registering to become a stem cell or organ donor — these are the contributions we depend on to provide the right product to patients in need, when they need them.

We cannot do the work we do without the generosity of Canadians. If you haven’t already done so, please join the movement and give life today.