September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, a campaign to help millions of young Canadians receive the support and resources they need to combat life threatening cancers. Canadian Blood Services (CBS) will be one of the principle sponsors of the campaign, which kicked things off with a blood donor drive at clinics across the country.
The drive was attended by many families that have been affected by childhood cancer in one form or another. Their stories inspired others to donate blood at the clinics, and contribute to the fight against childhood cancer that is fought by thousands of Canadians every year.
One of the families involved in the event includes 11 year old Matthew Holmes, who was diagnosed with a severe strand of leukaemia in 2011. Matthew underwent chemotherapy that included three stem cell transplants, including one made possible thanks to an umbilical cord blood donor.
That final transplant was completed in 2013, and helped send the leukaemia into remission. Matthew’s father, Daril works for the OPP in the Ottawa region and participated in the awareness efforts at local blood clinics.
“We started donating blood to support Matthew, but we are continuing to do so to help the thousands of children who continue to need blood products every day.”
CBS is also encouraging participants at the blood clinics to support the national cord blood banking program under the campaign ‘For All Canadians.’ The For All Canadians campaign will be an important part of CBS’ contribution to Childhood Cancer Awareness Month throughout September.
More details about the blood drive campaign and efforts to expand the national cord blood program are available here.