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Partner eNews April 2018

In this issue

How a first-time donor becomes a Champion... it’s okay to be afraid to take the first step!


Kelsey McCallen has gone from first time donor to TELUS Volunteer Blood Donor Champion. As we celebrate National Volunteer Week we wanted to celebrate the champions that are passionate advocates for those Canadian patients waiting for blood transfusions. We asked Kelsey to share her journey from donor to champion with us in her own words.


It all started in December 2012, I recall driving home from a busy evening of Christmas shopping, when a Canadian Blood Services ad came onto the radio with a message speaking of the increased amount of blood needed during the holiday season – followed by that popular slogan that we all know so well  -  ‘’s in you to give’.  I wish I could pinpoint what was different about hearing this ad from the many times I had heard it before, but something ignited inside me - I started thinking to myself “I’m a healthy, young woman – what excuse do I have to not give blood?”


I scheduled an appointment almost immediately, and embarrassingly, rescheduled it 2 or 3 times before I committed.  The thought of someone shoving a needle into my arm and draining my blood was TERRIFYING!  I had so many questions going into this process - how would my body react?  Was it going to hurt?  How much blood are they really taking from me?  Looking back now those fears seem so incredibly silly and small especially when you learn about what the patients receiving blood go through every day.


The day finally arrived - February 25, 2013 was my first donation.  When I arrived at the Canadian Blood Services clinic I was warmly greeted, comforted and assured throughout every step of the process.  By the time, I made it to the snack table I was made to feel like an absolute hero – the gratification that I received from the nurses and volunteers, along with knowing that the small commitment from my day could help save a life, inspired me to continue donating. 


In 2014, fueled by my new passion I took on an active role in event planning for the TELUS Days of Giving – a month-long commitment where TELUS team members volunteer their time within their communities – embodying our “We Give Where We Live” philosophy.  As part of TELUS Days of Giving, I decided to start a blood drive event, encouraging my fellow team members to roll up their sleeves -and donate.  After the initial success of this event and positive feedback from team members, I decided to become a Canadian Blood Services Champion, organizing our team to continue donating as we became eligible.  As a group, we donate 2-3 times a year, attracting ‘new blood’ to join us each time! 


Our group donations have brought us closer together as we support each other through the initial fears of donating blood. Through the joy of donating as a team with both new and seasoned donors, we gain a better understanding of the impact that our team is having to the community.


Every day at Canadian Blood Services we are thankful for volunteers and donors like Kelsey that not only roll up their own sleeves but reach out to their work teams and give back in their communities. Our thanks to Kelsey for sharing her inspiring story!

National GiveLife Partners

Thank you to the February, March and April national Give Life partners who share their stories and our message every month. They help us celebrate existing donors and encourage new donors to GIVE LIFE. Read about our current monthly partners on Proud Partners.


Cancer Survivor and firefighter encourages Sirens For Life blood drive in Saint John, NB.

Photo (L-R):  Constables Scott Prentice and Dan Olde Damink, Saint John Police and Jamie Maillet, firefighter, City of Saint John.

Jamie Maillet is a true hero!  Not only is he a cancer survivor and a firefighter, recently he organized the first ever Sirens For Life blood drive in Saint John.  He enlisted the help of Constable Dan Olde Damink of the Saint John Police Force to encourage their colleagues to donate blood.  The event resulted in eight new donors as well as 16 lapsed donors who returned to donating.  “Despite not having received any blood during my treatment,” says Maillet, “I saw many others who did. I felt it was important to give back.” We appreciate Jamie and Dan’s commitment. People become volunteers for many different reasons. In Jamie’s case, he saw firsthand the patients undergoing treatment that required transfusions during their battle with cancer. Reaching out to his colleagues in Fire and Police Services he translated his observations into actions. Canadian Blood Services cannot thank Jamie and Dan enough for spearheading this great blood drive and for all the hard work they do volunteering.

RE/MAX Jazz in Oshawa, ON joins the Canadian Blood Services Family

Noël Coppins and her team at RE/MAX Jazz Brokerage in Oshawa recruit friends and family to donate over the Family Day weekend in Ontario.

Noël Coppins, owner of Oshawa’s RE/MAX Jazz, is always looking for ways to give back to her community. Though she had previously volunteered with several local charities, she hesitated to join the #GiveLife movement with Canadian Blood Services because of a lifelong fear of needles. When she learned the exponential impact of having her team join her in a group blood donation, she was convinced this would be a fear worth overcoming. “There aren’t many places you can volunteer an hour of your day and have such a powerful impact on patients’ lives” Noël stated.

Long weekends are always a difficult time to recruit blood donors.  The RE/MAX Jazz team adopted Family Day weekend in February for a blood drive in Oshawa, ON. Noël originally pledged to recruit 10 donors over the long weekend but with an amazing internal recruitment strategy, which included a heartwarming video welcoming new donors and inviting regular donors to #GiveLife as a team - the support almost tripled in a couple of short weeks. Canadian Blood Services welcomed an incredible team of almost 30 generous donors to the Oshawa Blood Donor Clinic over just two days. With the support of team members and their families, the clinic was bustling and thriving, providing a much-needed boost during a difficult winter. In Noël’s words, ”it was a great day, a day of overcoming lifelong fears, and supporting each other as a family”. The RE/MAX Jazz family certainly fosters a strong culture of volunteerism and is already looking forward to making their blood drive an annual event.

We want to thank Noel, her team, and their families for volunteering and supporting Canadian patients in need of blood. They are making a positive impact in their community! April is the national celebration of volunteers, and we truly appreciate the continued support. 

Partners For Life Champion knows the importance of blood donation in Red Deer, AB.

Partners For Life Champion - Sharon Shultz, Red Deer, AB

Sharon Shultz wears many hats. She is the finish line coordinator at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School (LTCHS) in Red Deer Alberta and a Partners For Life Champion with Canadian Blood Services.


Sharon’s knowledge of blood began from an early age. At the age of five, she was diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, (ITP),a disorder that can lead to easy or excessive bruising and bleeding. The bleeding usually results from low levels of platelets, the cells that help blood clot. There are many types of treatments including transfusions of platelet concentrates.


Her journey continued as both her sister and husband were diagnosed with cancer. During their treatments, they both received blood from donors which enabled them to be healthy enough to receive chemotherapy.  


As a celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, Sharon along with the staff and students at LTCHS, organized a blood drive to successfully collect 150 units of blood!


The Canadian Blood Services team in Red Deer works closely with Sharon to book space and to promote the clinics to the staff and students at LTCHS. Since 2009, LTCHS has donated over 1000 units of blood!   


In 2017, Sharon was awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, which is a Governor General’s award honouring community service. Congratulations Sharon, and thank you for your passion and support for Canadian Blood Services. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Wealth management advisor in BC becomes an advocate for blood donation.

Kurt Jory and the team from The Peacock Sheridan Group kicked off Hockey month in BC by adopting the February 1st blood donor clinic in the Kelowna.

The Peacock Sheridan Group kicked off hockey month in BC by adopting a blood donor clinic in Kelowna on the first of February. You might think this is a strange marriage for a wealth management company – hockey and blood donation. But like most corporate social responsibility initiatives, this one was grown inside their organization. Kurt Jory, one of the firms’ advisors, knows firsthand that blood donation literally saves lives. Nine years ago, Kurt was the goalie for the Brock University Hockey Team when he suffered a life-threatening injury. Kurt had his jugular vein severed by a skate blade. He remembers telling a fellow player that if he died, to tell his family he loved them. Kurt knows he is alive today because several anonymous blood donors rolled up their sleeves and donated blood. Kurt volunteered to share his story to promote the blood drive and challenge other businesses to adopt the same day at the clinic. On the day of the clinic, many businesses took up the challenge and joined the donation, including, Pihl Law, Coldwell Banker, Invis, TD Benefits, Active Care, the Mayor of Kelowna and the City of Kelowna, Shaw, MNP, Crowe Mackay, November Project, Moksha Yoga, Lululemon and Innov8! Kurt supported his efforts with media interviews including Kelowna Now and Shaw TV. He also recorded a video that played at six games in February at the WHL Rockets arena. With Kurt’s help, Canadian Blood Services set up recruitment booths at the games to keep the message at the top of mind to the attendees. The Rockets donated a signed jersey for a draw in the Kelowna Clinic.

Our thanks to Shaw Kelowna and SW Showtime for sharing the video with us. Click here to view the video on our YouTube channel.

Think red, give green.

Just like blood donors, stem cell donors and organ and tissue donors, financial donors help Canadian Blood Services to provide better outcomes for Canadian patients and their families. Their generous financial gifts fund lifesaving programs in four areas: blood, stem cells, research and innovation.

From community events like the upcoming Mississauga Marathon charity race weekend, to organizing celebratory events through third-party fundraising tools, Canadian Blood Services’ community of financial supporters never cease to show their passion and dedication in creative ways.

Learn more about the impact of financial giving at

National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week from April 23 –29

National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week (NOTDAW) raises awareness about the critical need for more organ donors across the country. The campaign encourages all Canadians to register their decision and to talk to their loved ones about organ donation.

Take note of the green ribbons and the green-lit landmarks that will pop up across Canada to acknowledge and honour the donors and their families who gave the gift of life. Green lights also acknowledge the thousands of patients in need of a transplant and those who have died waiting.


Partners are asked to light their buildings, signs and landmarks green on April 25, 2018.


Canadians are encouraged to register their intent to donate during National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week, which runs from April 23 to 29. It is also a reminder to have the important conversation with loved ones about your organ donation wishes.

To learn more about organ and tissue donation and to register your intent to donate, visit

Help Us Spread the Word: Celebrate #NOTDAW on Social Media!

Please consider sharing these messages to help us raise awareness for National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week from April 23-29

We just can’t say it enough… thank you!

During the month of April, organizations across Canada celebrate their volunteers. We at Canadian Blood Services and on behalf of all Canadian patients want to thank you for being a blood drive champion. Whether you coordinate a drive once a year, or six times a year, we want to express our gratitude for helping us ensure patients get the life-saving products they need. See and read about the Canadians who are grateful for people like you and the organizations who partner with us.


What if your blood ‘type’ went missing?
This June join us for #MissingType.

Be part of the global campaign taking place during National Blood Donor Week (June 11-17) involving 20 countries, supporting hospital patients across Canada by raising awareness about the need for blood. Every 60 seconds, someone in Canada needs blood.

Click here for more info on the campaign and how your organization can participate.

Click Here to sign up for Missing Type tools to use during the campaign


Champion Tool Room

Filled with resources and templates to help you spread the word about blood donation in your workplace and community.

Look who Gave Life today!
Look who Gave Life today!
You did it!

Previous issues

October 2017

January 2018