Canadian Blood Services is building a national public cord blood bank, which collects, processes, tests and stores donated umbilical cord blood. Many Canadians requiring a stem cell transplant have unique stem cell matching needs reflecting Canada’s unique ethnic diversity. Stem Cell donors from all ethnic backgrounds are needed. In the past, Canada was 100 percent reliant on international cord blood stem cell donations. The national public cord blood bank will make cord blood stem cells more readily available for Canadian patients who need them.
In 2011/2012 Canadian Blood Services launched a $12.5 million fundraising campaign, For All Canadians, to build a national public cord blood bank. As at August 2014, $9 million in cash and pledges has been raised to support this campaign goal of $12.5 million.
The national public cord blood bank is part of Canadian Blood Services’ OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network. Canadian Blood Services recruits healthy volunteer blood stem cell donors, searches for available stem cells on behalf of patients who require a blood stem cell transplant from a non-relative, and coordinates the delivery of blood stem cells when a match is found.
Data from the national public cord blood bank is uploaded to an international database of more than 611,000 cord blood donations from 47 cord blood banks around the world.