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Bayer Virtual Walk for Hemophilia Raises Awareness and Funds for People With Bleeding Disorders
Date:11/11/2011

CHICAGO, Nov. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- At a special ceremony at the National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) Annual Meeting in Chicago, Bayer HealthCare and members of the hemophilia community commemorated the successful conclusion of Bayer's first Virtual Walk for Hemophilia (www.walkforhemophilia.com), an innovative interactive contest that raises awareness and funds for those living with a bleeding disorder.  Bayer also kicked off year two of the Virtual Walk as a means of continued support for hemophilia communities across the U.S. and globally.    

At the time the inaugural virtual walk ended on November 6, an impressive 15,637 people – those with and without hemophilia – had signed up.  To put this number in perspective, the total number of people with hemophilia in the U.S. is currently estimated to be 15,000-20,000(1).  

Bayer provided $30,000 in sponsorship funds to the national office of the NHF plus an additional $30,000 in sponsorship funds to the three chapters with the greatest number of walkers, for a total of $60,000.  The chapters receiving sponsorship funds are:

First place: Arizona Hemophilia Foundation, with 5,004 walkers, received $15,000.

Second place: Hemophilia Foundation of Illinois/Bleeding Disorders Alliance Illinois, with 3,716 walkers, received $10,000.

Third place: Hemophilia of Indiana, with 2,510 walkers, received $5,000.  

"We want to thank Bayer for the opportunity to engage our membership in a fun and unique program.  We checked the Web site every day to see our standing, and it really pushed our members to reach out to others directly and through social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter," said Bob Robinson, Executive Director, Hemophilia Foundation of Illinois/Bleeding Disorders Alliance Illinois.  "Most importantly, the sponsorship funds we're receiving will go to educational and support programs for people with bleeding disorders, including summer camp for children with hemophilia, which can have a lasting impression on their lives."

According to Paul Bedard, Vice President/General Manager, Hematology, Bayer HealthCare, "People started logging on to their computers the moment we launched the Virtual Walk for Hemophilia in April, and the high interest level continued through its conclusion.  We're gratified by the great response and are especially pleased about the difference an effort like this can make in the community.  To that end, we've committed to continuing the program in 2012."

Bayer's 2012 Virtual Walk for Hemophilia will have an important new element.  In addition to sponsorship funds going to the NHF and its chapters, up to $7,000 in sponsorship funds will go to Save One Life, a non-profit, international organization that offers people and organizations the opportunity to sponsor a child or adult with a bleeding disorder in a developing country.  

About Hemophilia A

Hemophilia A, also known as factor VIII deficiency or classic hemophilia, is largely an inherited bleeding disorder in which one of the proteins needed to form blood clots in the body is missing or reduced. Hemophilia A, the most common type of hemophilia, is caused by deficient or defective blood coagulation proteins, known as factor VIII. Hemophilia A is characterized by prolonged or spontaneous bleeding, especially into the muscles, joints, or internal organs.  Approximately one in 5,000 males born in the United States has hemophilia.

About Bayer HealthCare

Bayer HealthCare is the U.S.-based pharmaceuticals business of Bayer HealthCare LLC, a subsidiary of Bayer AG. Bayer HealthCare is one of the world's leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry, and combines the activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Diabetes Care, and Pharmaceuticals divisions.  As a specialty pharmaceutical company, Bayer HealthCare provides products for Diagnostic Imaging, General Medicine, Hematology, Neurology, Oncology and Women's Healthcare.  The company's aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human health worldwide by diagnosing, preventing and treating diseases.

Forward-looking Statements

This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer's public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

(1) http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hemophilia/data.html

BAYER and the Bayer Cross are registered trademarks of Bayer.  

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SOURCE Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.
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