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CIBC helps build a life-saving national public cord blood bank For All Canadians

Bank's donation brings Canadian Blood Services another step closer to meeting growing demand for stem cells in Canada

OTTAWA, April 14, 2014 /CNW/ - A life-saving national public stem cell bank will soon become a reality thanks to a generous $300,000 donation from CIBC. The donation will support Canadian Blood Services' Campaign For All Canadians, helping to raise funds towards the establishment of a national public cord blood bank in Canada.

The demand for blood stem cells in Canada is growing with the number of Canadian patients waiting for life-saving stem cell transplants tripling over the past five years. These patients are suffering from cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma and diseases like aplastic anemia and they require stem cell transplants to survive.

A public cord-blood bank is especially important in Canada because of our country's ethnically diverse population where finding a match is more complex.

"Canada is the only G8 country without a national public cord blood bank and Canadian Blood Services is working to change this," said Graham Sher, CEO, Canadian Blood Services. "With CIBC's leading gift we're one big step closer to attaining a public cord blood program representative of Canada's many diverse communities."

Even though the Canadian health system can access international stem cell registries, it's vital that Canada can collect and store its own selected umbilical cord blood in a national public bank. By doing this, many precious lives will be saved and the suffering of many Canadian families will be significantly reduced. Umbilical cord blood, which is currently discarded after childbirth, is a rich source of stem cells that can provide a second chance at life for patients waiting for their match.

"With its leadership in supporting cancer research and treatment across the country, we are very grateful for CIBC's support and the role it's playing in this historic healthcare solution," added Sher.

"At CIBC, we are committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, employees and communities," said Grant Rasmussen, Region Head of Ontario, CIBC. "We are proud to support Canadian Blood Services in the establishment of this vital resource for all Canadians."

Canadian Blood Services' national fundraising campaign, 'Campaign For All Canadians' has been initiated to help build Canada's first national public cord blood bank. Through its 3-year campaign, the 'Campaign For All Canadians' will help raise funds to assist Canadian Blood Services transform blood stem cell donation in Canada by creating the National Public Cord Blood Bank. The National Public Cord Blood Bank is managed by Canadian Blood Services, on behalf of the provinces and territories except Québec, which runs its own cord blood banking program through Héma-Québec.

About Canadian Blood Services

Canadian Blood Services is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization that manages the supply of blood and blood products in all provinces and territories outside of Quebec. Canadian Blood Services also oversees the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network, and provides national leadership for organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Canadian Blood Services operates 42 permanent collection sites and more than 20,000 donor clinics annually. The provincial and territorial Ministries of Health provide operational funding to Canadian Blood Services. The federal government, through Health Canada, is responsible for regulating the blood system.

About CIBC
CIBC (CM: TSX) (CM: NYSE) is a leading North American financial institution with 11 million personal banking and business clients. CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, our employees and our communities. We aim to make a difference in communities through corporate donations, sponsorships and the volunteer spirit of employees. With a strategic focus on Kids, Cures and Community, and employee commitment to causes, including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, the CIBC Children's Foundation and United Way, we are investing in the social and economic development of communities across the country. In 2013, CIBC contributed more than $41 million to 1,870 charitable and non-profit initiatives in over 430 communities. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC in our Press Centre on our corporate website at www.cibc.com.

To book an appointment or for more information, visit us at www.blood.ca or call 1 888 2 DONATE.

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SOURCE Canadian Blood Services

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