Canadian Blood Services

Canadian Blood Services

May 24, 2005 15:18 ET

Blood Services, RCMP kickoff unrelated bone marrow awareness week

Approximately 70 per cent of patients in need of a bone marrow transplant will have to rely on an unrelated donor Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, Health/Medical Editor, News Editor OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 24, 2005) - The Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society (BDBMS), Canadian Blood Services and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have joined forces to create awareness and encourage Canadians to support Canada's Unrelated Bone Marrow Donor Registry (UBMDR).

From May 22 to 28 the Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society along with the RCMP will participate in awareness and fundraising activities as part of the Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society Week.

The BDBMS has been helping save lives since 1988 and raises funds to support the work of the UBMDR. The goal of the Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society Week is to create awareness about the Registry and help provide funding to support it.

The Society was named after Cst. Bruce Denniston, an RCMP member who was diagnosed with leukemia in 1987. His only hope for long term survival was a bone marrow transplant. None of his family members were compatible donors, so an unrelated donor was sought. This led to the creation of the BDBMS. A donor was eventually found for Cst. Denniston, but he lost his fight to leukemia in 1989.

Only 30 per cent of patients needing a bone marrow transplant will find a match within their family, leaving others patients to rely on an unrelated, volunteer donor from a bone marrow donor registry such as the UBMDR. The UBMDR, coordinates the matching of patients in need to committed healthy, unrelated donors, both in Canada and around the world.

"The awareness and funds raised this week not only help bone marrow patients in Canada but also around the world," said Larry Misner, President of the Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society. "I encourage all Canadians to support the Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society Week and to get involved in the many activities planned throughout the country."

"The Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society Week is an important time for the RCMP as it allows us to reflect upon the life of one of our own," said C/Supt. Bernie Corrigan, the Director General of the RCMP's Public Affairs and Communication Services Directorate. "By affiliating ourselves with the BDBMS, we are assisting in the fight against blood-related diseases and supporting an important humanitarian cause."

The main beneficiary of the Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society Week is Canada's Unrelated Bone Marrow Donor Registry which is operated by Canadian Blood Services.

"Each year, hundreds of Canadians need bone marrow transplants to treat potentially life-threatening illnesses. Fewer than 30 per cent of these patients will find a family member with compatible bone marrow to donate. For the rest, an unrelated donor is the only available source of bone marrow," says Beverly Campbell, Director of the Bone Marrow Donor Registry. "I encourage all Canadians to join the Registry. The life you help to save could be anyone, anywhere in the world."

About Canadian Blood Services
Canadian Blood Services is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization that manages the blood supply in all provinces and territories outside of Quebec and oversees the country's Unrelated Bone Marrow Donor Registry. Canadian Blood Services operates 42 permanent collection sites and more than 15,000 donor clinics annually. The Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health provide operational funding to Canadian Blood Services. The federal government, through Health Canada, is responsible for regulating the blood system. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.bloodservices.ca.

About the Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society
The Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society has been in the business of helping save lives since 1988. The Society raises funds to support the work of the Canadian Unrelated Bone Marrow Donor Registry (UBMDR). The UBMDR, a program of Canadian Blood Services, is the organization that registers potential bone marrow donors and matches them to patients needing transplants. For more information on the Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society, please visit www.dennistonsociety.com

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Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available on the CP picture wire via PR Direct.

For more information contact:

Jeff Turner
Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society
613-228-6899

Derek Mellon
Media Relations Manager, Canadian Blood Services
613 739 2177; derek.mellon@bloodservices.ca

Cst. Patricia Flood
RCMP Public Affairs and Communication Services
613-993-2999

/For further information: www.bloodservices.ca/ IN: HEALTH

Contact Information

  • Derek Mellon, Media Relations Manager, Canadian Blood Services
    Primary Phone: 613-739-2177
    Secondary Phone: 613-299-3220
    E-mail: derek.mellon@bloodservices.ca