National Blood Donor Week
The many reasons blood donors should not be taken for granted
By Mel Cappe
When I was Deputy Minister of the Environment I told my staff I wanted to be taken for granted.
In this role, and my other responsibilities in the Canadian Public Service, I always tried to serve the public and make Canada a better place. But I was happy to be a faceless bureaucrat, out of the limelight—known by my colleagues in government and on the Hill, but not by Canadians at large —to be taken for granted.
But fast forward a few years to today where I serve as Chair of the Board of Canadian Blood Services and that perspective changes. For Canadian Blood Services to do such a good job that we are taken for granted is not in the Canadian public interest. And for blood donors to contribute the gift of life and to be taken for granted is not a service to the public.
When my father needed blood during open heart surgery, I took for granted that life-saving blood and blood products were there for him. I didn’t think about how the blood got to him, or where it had come from, all I cared about was his recovery. I didn’t think about the donors.
Now I have a much better appreciation of how dependent we all are on the generosity and selflessness of blood donors. They are what makes it real. That is part of the “reason” why Canadian Blood Services recently launched a national campaign to focus on the “reasons” donors donate.
I am constantly reminded at Board meetings, and engagements across the country, about why these donors give of themselves to unknown recipients who receive these life saving products in their times of need. Canada relies entirely on the generosity and commitment of donors to keep the lifeline going. Donors should never be taken for granted.
And so, in honour of donors, this week was proclaimed National Blood Donor Week. Enacted by the Parliament of Canada in 2008, this year marks the 11th anniversary of legislation originally sponsored by Liberal Senator Terry Mercer and supported by Conservative Senator Ethel Cochrane to recognize and celebrate volunteer blood donors from across the country who selflessly help their fellow citizens. It runs from June 10-16, 2019 and includes World Blood Donor Day on, June 14 which is recognized by the World Health Organization.
Like many Canadians, I assumed that every Canadian is a prospective donor—whether it is for blood, plasma, platelets, organs and tissues, or stem cells. However, the reality is quite different. Even though most Canadians have good intentions about the act of donating blood, very few donate—in fact although one in two Canadians is eligible to donate, only one in sixty actually does. By raising awareness during this special week, we invite and encourage more people to become regular blood donors.
I had a moment of clarity about just how much donors inspire me when I attended the opening of the new Toronto donor centre at Yonge and Bloor about this time last year. A cameraman who was shooting the event for a local TV station urged me to go and meet a gentleman who was giving his 130th donation in one of the beds. I walked over to him, eager to let him know how much we appreciated his gift and that he was a hero. As I was telling him this, he nodded and pointed to a young woman in her twenties donating blood in the bed beside him. He told me, she is one you should be calling a hero—this is her very first donation.
Since then I take time to listen to all the reasons I can about why donors donate, and I take no donors for granted.
And I felt I should write this to remind everyone who serves in government and the public service, that they shouldn’t either.
Share your reasons campaign boosts National Blood Donor Week, June 10-16
Donors celebrated for supporting Canada’s Lifeline
JUNE 10, 2019 (OTTAWA) – To support National Blood Donor Week, June 10 to 16, Canadian Blood Services is launching a new online tool (blood.ca/reasons) for anyone whose life has been changed by blood products to share their reason(s) for joining Canada’s Lifeline and help patients.
“Each year during National Blood Donor Week and on World Blood Donor Day, June 14, we celebrate and thank donors for their generosity and commitment to patients. Blood donors are a vital link in Canada’s Lifeline and more donors are needed to maintain a strong and consistent supply of blood and blood products. We encourage Canadians to visit our website and to share their personal reasons for donating and inspire their friends and family to join them,” says Rick Prinzen, Canadian Blood Services chief supply chain officer and vice-president of donor relations.
“After seeing my mom and sister not being well, as soon as I turned 17 I knew I would donate,” says Jakob Gallant whose mother Lori and sister Keelyn both suffer from platelet coagulation disorder and require blood transfusions regularly. “It wasn’t even something I had to think about. It’s funny because neither of them really looks sick. And they aren’t right now thankfully, but it will happen again. And they will need help again as will a lot more people that I know. You never know when someone close to you may need it,” says Jakob.
“My wife receiving a blood transfusion was a huge motivator to boost my donations,” says Byron Link, a retired RCMP officer who donated his first pint of blood in Manitoba in 1965 at age 21. In 1996 while stationed in Prince George, B.C., his wife became ill and a blood transfusion saved her life. In 2002, Byron and his wife moved to Kamloops, B.C. where he continued to donate as often as he could. Last year on May 22, 2018, he made his milestone 150th donation and since then has donated four more times.
“Everything we do to help patients in Canada depends on donors who give so selflessly and are very dedicated,” says Prinzen. “Many Canadians have reasons for donating blood and the donations ultimately help patients through difficult health challenges and allow them to wake up healthier, every day.”
Visitors to the new web page can submit their reason(s) for donating blood or plasma, registering as a stem cell or organ and tissue donor, volunteering or giving financially. And, as a continuation of the “Reasons” multi-media campaign the organization launched in April, Canadians are also invited to use social media to post their reason(s) for being a donor, tag their followers and encourage them to do the same using the hash tags #WhatsYourReason, #NBDW2019 and #WBDD.
While we take this week to thank existing donors, Canadian patients also need new donors to join Canada’s Lifeline. This year, over 100,000 new blood donors are needed to maintain the national blood supply and meet the needs of patients who require blood transfusions. Canadians are encouraged to donate blood this summer to meet anticipated hospital demand. Blood donations often decrease during summer months because of holidays, changes in routines, travel and family activities.
Legislated by the Government of Canada in 2008, National Blood Donor Week recognizes and celebrates donors who selflessly help their fellow citizens. Events will be held in communities across the country throughout National Blood Donor Week to thank generous donors for their commitment to patients and to encourage new donors to join Canada’s Lifeline.
Making an appointment to donate has never been easier. Download the GiveBlood app, call 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283) or book now at blood.ca. Walk-in appointments are also available at all locations.
About Canadian Blood Services
Canadian Blood Services is a not-for-profit charitable organization. Regulated by Health Canada as a biologics manufacturer and primarily funded by the provincial and territorial ministries of health, Canadian Blood Services operates with a national scope, infrastructure and governance that make it unique within Canadian healthcare. In the domain of blood, plasma and stem cells, we provide services for patients on behalf of all provincial and territorial governments except Quebec. The national transplant registry for interprovincial organ sharing and related programs reaches into all provinces and territories, as a biological lifeline for Canadians.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
To give life, become a blood donor
National Blood Donor Week reminds us we each have a blood type to give
(OTTAWA) – To mark National Blood Donor Week, Canadian Blood Services is celebrating blood donors from across the country who make a lifesaving difference to patients in need. Without the generosity of donors, patients would not receive the lifesaving surgeries and treatments they need. National Blood Donor Week runs from June 13 to 18.
“National Blood Donor Week honours Canadians who selflessly give life in support of their communities and our country,” says Mark Donnison, vice-president, donor relations. “One in two people are eligible to donate, yet only one in 60 actually does,” says Donnison. “We really need more Canadians to start donating blood and make it a regular habit throughout the year.”
Every year, close to 40 per cent of blood donors stop donating for 12 months or more for various reasons. This year Canadian Blood Services needs over 100,000 new blood donors to come forward to meet patient needs.
Blood donors provide a lifeline to patients like Kelly Lee from Kelowna, B.C. Kelly is coping with an undiagnosed medical condition. She needs regular blood transfusions to live and is grateful to blood donors for their support. See Kelly’s story:
“I wish donors would get to know that because of them I get to live,” Kelly says. “There’s no better feeling than being a hero and realizing that people are alive because of you. When you donate blood, you get to save a life.”
Each of us has the right blood type to give life: ABOAB. This acronym refers to the four big blood groups — A, B, AB, O. Blood type is one way we are all connected, and your type can help save your life or someone else’s. To find out more, visit whatisaboab.ca.
About National Blood Donor Week: How Canadians can participate
Legislated by the Government of Canada in 2008, National Blood Donor Week recognizes and celebrates blood donors across the country who have selflessly chosen to give life. Blood donors can share National Blood Donor Week social media posts using the hash tags #givelife and #NBDW2016.
Throughout the week, elected officials will attend Canadian Blood Services’ regional Honouring Our Lifeblood recognition events taking place in 18 communities across the country. They will also donate blood in local clinics, thank donors for rolling up their sleeves, and encourage new donors to consider making an appointment.
Canadian Blood Services has also teamed up with 3M for the first time to support the global Nexcare Give campaign in June, which promotes the need for blood donations. To get involved, use the hash tag #giveinspires on Facebook. More information is available on the 3M website.
To discover all the ways you can give life and to book an appointment, download the GiveBlood app or visit blood.ca.
- Last year, approximately 388,000 Canadians rolled up their sleeves to donate blood.
- Every week this year close to 2,000 new donors are needed to ensure we can help hospital patients. That’s 100,000 new donors in 2016, 27,000 more than last year.
- One in two people are eligible to donate, yet only one in 60 actually does. That’s four per cent of the eligible population supporting 100 per cent of all Canadian patients who need blood transfusions.
- Approximately 52 per cent of Canadians say they, or a family member, have needed blood or blood products for surgery or for medical treatment.
Canadian Blood Services Issues Rallying Cry to Canadians
Bold New Campaign and Blood Signal Launched to Grow and Diversify Canada’s Blood Donors
June 13, 2011 (OTTAWA) - It is estimated that about one in two Canadians can give blood. However, this year only one in 60 has and Canadian Blood Services needs this to change. To turn the tide, Canadian Blood Services is encouraging Canadians to “Rally Together to Save Lives” as National Blood Donor Week begins.
This year’s theme for National Blood Donor Week is “Rally Together to Save Lives” and in order to meet Canada’s future blood requirements, Canadian Blood Services needs to inspire more Canadians to join the movement, including more Canadians from ethnic communities.
"Canada’s blood donors are among the most generous in the world but the challenge is that we continue to rely on too few of them," says Tony Steed, Director of Marketing and Recruitment. "We need our donors across Canada to reflect this country’s cultural mosaic. That means we need more people from ethnic communities to become regular blood donors to help those in their community."
Approximately 20 per cent of the Canadian population identifies themselves as a visible minority. But less than 7 per cent of blood donors identify themselves as visible minorities. This reflects a critical gap between the Canadian population and Canadian Blood Services’ donor base, putting a strain on the ability of Canada’s blood system to meet the needs of patients in the future.
"Engaging Canada's diverse ethnic communities in blood donation is more than just about inclusiveness; it's about supply and demand," says Steed. "The ratio of Caucasians to ethnically diverse Canadians is shrinking, so to grow our donor base we have to address the diversity gap. And in some rare instances, patients require matching beyond basic blood groups which they are most likely to find in a donor from the same ethnic background. As Canada’s population becomes more diverse, so too will the needs of its hospital patients."
Earlier this spring, Canadian Blood Services launched a bold new marketing and recruitment campaign called "Rally Together to Save Lives". The campaign is focused on motivating current and potential blood donors to think and act collectively, and asks Canadians to rally their community, family and friends to donate blood. The campaign aims to grow the donor base to 500,000 active blood donors and to recruit 100,000 new blood donors each year across Canada by 2015, with an additional focus on Chinese, South Asian, and Filipino communities in Toronto and Vancouver.
"Canadian Blood Services is reaching out to three of Canada’s largest and growing ethnic communities in Toronto and Vancouver – Chinese, South Asian, and Filipino – to help us close the critical gap in our donor base and help us towards our goal of increasing the number of blood donors in Canada," says Steed. "Recruiting more ethnic donors will keep Canada’s blood supply strong and sustainable to better meet the needs of hospital patients."
As part of the new campaign, Canadian Blood Services has also created the "Blood Signal" that is a visual and aural icon designed to connect Canadians socially and emotionally to the idea of giving blood. The "Blood Signal" will be used during increased times of need throughout the year as a reminder that the need for blood is great and serves as a rallying cry for communities to come together to save lives. The campaign also includes the new microsite www.bloodsignal.ca with an interactive Facebook tool that illustrates how many lives can be saved when communities rally together to help hospital patients in need.
For more information or to book an appointment to donate blood, please call 1 888 2 DONATE (1 888 236 6283) today and for more information about the Blood Signal, visit www.bloodsignal.ca.
About National Blood Donor Week – June 13th – June 19th, 2011
In 2008 a bill was passed by the federal government in Ottawa recognizing National Blood Donor Week as an opportunity to celebrate and thank the donors and volunteers of the blood system in Canada who ensure the health of their fellow citizens. The week also builds awareness of the importance of blood, plasma, platelet and bone and stem cell donations, and encourages Canadians to donate or become a volunteer – especially during the challenging summer months. This year, National Blood Donor Week runs from June 13th to June 19th, 2011 with the theme of "Rally Together to Save Lives". World Blood Donor Day falls within National Blood Donor Week on June 14th – the birth date of Karl Landsteiner, a pioneer of transfusion medicine. The global theme for WBDW 2011 is "More blood. More life" with an underlying theme of "paint the world red".
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Got a Free Hour? What Would You Do?
Celebrating blood donors during National Blood Donor Week June 11-16
June 11, 2012 (OTTAWA) – To many Canadians, one free hour could mean hanging out with loved ones, a workout at the gym, or even…saving a life. What would you do? For nearly 420,000 Canadians who call themselves blood donors, the answer is easy – donate blood.
Canadian Blood Services surveyed 1,000 Canadians nation-wide to see what they would do if given the gift of one free hour. In a recent poll conducted by Ipsos-Reid we found:
- 69% of respondents said they would spend time with their loved ones
- 26% would save a life through blood donation
- 3% would go to the gym
- 2% would hit some golf balls.
Canadian Blood Services is celebrating National Blood Donor Week from June 11-16 by thanking blood donors for choosing to spend their free hour with us. The theme for National Blood Donor Week is “The Power of Many” – because in most cases, it takes more than just one blood donor to help save the life of a Canadian who needs blood. But what compels our donors to do this?
Respondents were asked what they thought was the biggest motivator to donate blood:
- 52% answered a loved one needed blood
- 23% answered it’s a free and way to give back
- 20% know someone who did/does donate blood
- 3% heard it on the news
- 2% heard it through work
Know what else we found? Check out these answers…
57% believe women donate more blood than men
False. Based on the last 12 months, men donate more frequently than women. That’s OK, ladies, there’s still time to catch up.
56% believe Eastern Canadians donate more blood than Western Canadians
False. It’s a tie - Eastern and Western Canadians donate the same.
78% believe older Canadians donate more blood than younger Canadians
True. As Canadians age, and become more wise, they donate more frequently. Donors between the ages of 66-70 donate almost two times more frequently than those ages 17-19.
75% believe the top situation where blood is needed is for car accidents
True. It takes up to 50 donors to help someone in a car accident. See what other situations blood is needed:
44% believe people are most likely to become blood donors between 25-34 years
False. 46% of first time donors are between the ages of 17-24.
During this week of celebration, join Canadian Blood Services and help us thank blood donors for all that they do. We encourage you to join us and book an appointment to help someone in need. Go online at www.blood.ca or call 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283) to book an appointment.
Polling was commissioned by Canadian Blood Services and took place between May 22 and May 28, 2012 with a margin of error of 5%.
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Get Behind the Blood Signal
Canadians asked to go social and rally together this National Blood Donor Week
June 10, 2013 (OTTAWA) – Canadian Blood Services is asking Canadians to get Behind the Blood Signal when the blood drop shaped icon is activated during National Blood Donor Week, June 10-16. The Blood Signal is intended to connect people to the idea of making a donation at specific times of the year when the need for blood is greatest—like summer. Behind the Blood Signal was chosen as this year’s theme for National Blood Donor Week to educate more Canadians that when they see the Blood Signal, it means “give blood now.”
Throughout National Blood Donor Week, we’re also asking Canadians to “go social” in supporting the Blood Signal by:
- Visiting Mosaic Me at www.mosaicme.ca. Individuals can post pictures of themselves donating, promoting or otherwise supporting patients through blood donation that will form in the shape of the Blood Signal.
- Checking out www.facebook.com/CanadasLifeline at 10 a.m. Eastern time on Monday, June 10 for the launch of a new Behind the Blood Signal video. Please “like” and “share” the video as your way of getting Behind the Blood Signal.
- Throughout the week donors are also encouraged to check in at blood donor clinics using their mobile devices as another way of showing they are getting Behind the Blood Signal.
This year, patients at almost 450 hospitals across Canada are depending on blood donors to help save or improve their lives from trauma, disease and other illness. To meet their needs, Canadian Blood Services forecasts that it must collect almost one million units of blood, plasma and platelets from both new and existing donors.
The National Blood Donor Week Act was passed by the Government of Canada in 2008 to recognize and celebrate volunteer blood donors. World Blood Donor Day, a campaign led by the World Health Organization, is always celebrated that same week on June 14.
Donors who give blood during Blood Signal are eligible to give again at the beginning of August. To book an appointment, go online to www.blood.ca or call 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283). Making an appointment now will help lay the foundation for strong blood collections that will meet patient needs this summer.
Patient needs by the numbers
We need communities to rally together because it can take many donors to help save even one hospital patient. For example:
- Up to 5 donors a week to help someone who is in cancer treatment
- Up to 50 donors to help someone in a car crash
- Up to 2 donors to help someone who needs brain surgery
- Up to 5 donors to save someone who needs cardiovascular surgery
- Up to 2 to 8 donors to help someone with internal bleeding
- Up to 2 donors a day to help someone undergoing a bone marrow transplant
- Up to 4 donors a month to help someone with Aplastic Anemia
- Up to 2 donors for a repeat hip replacement
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Blood - a family portrait
National Blood Donor Week reminds Canadians that many families need donors to help save precious lives now
June 9, 2014 - Many Canadian families rely on blood donors to help loved ones recover from life-threatening conditions. National Blood Donor Week (June 8 -14) is a reminder to all Canadians that by donating blood today, you can help save the lives of countless family members—and your donation is needed now more than ever.
Canadian Blood Services is experiencing a notable decrease in donations heading into the summer months. Although donations traditionally dip heading into June, the national inventory is the lowest it has been in more than five years at this time of year.
“There are 33,000 appointments that need to be filled before the end of June,” says Mark Donnison, Vice-President of Donor Relations. “Every donation counts.”
Blood is what bonds many families together and in turn, blood donors share their family bond with patients, creating a much larger family portrait across the country.
Many blood donors, like Vancouver’s Neil Bernstein, were inspired by a family member to start donating. (Click here to learn more) Neil’s father, Frank, became a life-long donor at the age of 17 and rarely missed an appointment. Before his passing in 2011, Frank donated 532 times leaving a legacy for his son to continue.
“We really wanted to donate together, but I could never get the time to go with him. When he passed, I said, ‘it’s my turn’,” says Neil Bernstein, blood donor and musician.
Now Neil is a regular donor and has made it his life’s work to encourage others to give blood. This Canadian musician is launching his own cross-country “Rock for Blood” tour to encourage others to help save lives.
“My dad never missed an appointment unless he was sick. That commitment still runs deep in the family even though he is gone,” says Neil, “The feeling you get after you donate is pretty amazing—it just kind of washes over you that you could possibly be saving someone's life.”
Canadian Blood Services invites Canadians from coast to coast to contribute to our family portrait by making blood donation a family tradition. Share family donor stories on social media using #families4blood, and rally loved ones to plan a family reunion at a blood donor clinic this summer.
To book a family or individual blood donor appointment, download the GiveBlood app, visit blood.ca or call 1 888 2 DONATE (1 888 236 6283) today.
- Roughly half of all Canadians are eligible to donate blood, yet less than four per cent actually do.
- There are 33,000 appointments that need to be filled before the end of June.
- We need 244,000 appointments in the next two months to maintain supply – of which, there are currently 84,000 unfilled appointments.
- One in two Canadians says that they or someone they know has needed blood or blood products.
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Global campaign during 10th annual National Blood Donor Week highlights need for blood
44,000 blood donors needed across the country by Canada Day
(OTTAWA) – Canadian Blood Services is getting ready to support patients this summer and is inviting Canadians to participate in the international Missing Type campaign from June 11 to 17.
The Missing Type campaign is taking place during National Blood Donor Week, which this year is commemorating its 10th anniversary. Throughout the week, As, Bs and Os — the letters of the main blood groups — will go missing in everyday signage and places of interest across Canada and in more than 20 participating countries around the world to encourage people to learn their blood type and give blood.
“As blood donors, we can make sure there is never a missing blood type. We need to constantly add new blood donors to have enough of each blood type on hand for patients across Canada. As we commemorate the 10th annual National Blood Donor Week, we thank donors for their vital contributions and encourage more Canadians to help save a life by donating blood.”
- Rick Prinzen, chief supply chain officer and vice-president of donor relations, Canadian Blood Services
National Blood Donor Week and Missing Type will draw attention in different ways to the need for more blood donors. One in two people in Canada are eligible to donate blood, yet only one in 60 actually does.
Blood donors help patients like 10-year-old Jaidyn Braithwaite recover from life-threatening conditions. Jaidyn was diagnosed with leukemia in August 2011 when she was only three and a half years old. With blood products she was able to get strong enough to continue her chemotherapy. Jaidyn finished two years of treatment in October 2013 and has been in remission for almost five years.
Prinzen says blood donations now will ensure the national supply meets demand and supports patients like Jaidyn during the summer months, when donations can traditionally be a bit softer.
How to take part in Missing Type during National Blood Donor Week, June 11 to 17
Canadians are encouraged to remove As, Bs, and Os from their social media handles and posts, from blogs and websites, and in other creative ways to draw attention to the need for more blood donors. More than 100 companies, universities and hospitals have joined the movement. It is easy to get involved in Missing Type during National Blood Donor Week using free social tools available on blood.ca/share.
The National Blood Donor Week Act was passed by the Government of Canada in 2008 to recognize and celebrate volunteer blood donors. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the legislation first sponsored by Senator Terry Mercer and supported by all parties.
On June 13, people in Ottawa can learn their blood type alongside Members of Parliament and employees of various partner groups at an outdoor, blood typing event Canadian Blood Services is hosting on Parliament Hill.
Events are being held in communities across the country during National Blood Donor Week to celebrate donors and remind people to give blood now and during the summer, one of the most challenging times for Canada’s blood system. This week is also a great occasion for Canadian Blood Services to celebrate 20 years of working with donors to meet patients’ needs, and to remind Canadians more blood donors are needed.
Making an appointment to help save a life has never been easier. Visit blood.ca, download our GiveBlood app or call 1-888-2-DONATE and find a nearby donation site. Walk in appointments are also available at all locations.
For more information:
Critical need for blood donations in June
Low blood inventory could cause issues for Canadian patients
(OTTAWA) – National Blood Donor Week is typically a time to celebrate donors across the country. This year, however, Canadian Blood Services is focused on a critical need for blood donations and is urging Canadians to make an appointment right away to donate before July 1.
“Patients across the country need more donors to step forward for life-giving blood donations,” says Mark Donnison, vice president, donor relations. “We recently called on Canadians to fill more than 150,000 donation appointments by Canada’s 150th birthday to ensure that there is enough blood to meet patient needs throughout the summer. As of today, we’re not on track to meet that target, so we are pleading with Canadians to book an appointment to donate and replenish supplies before July 1.”
Donors are very busy and have lots of demands on their time. They are oftentimes already active in their communities, managing work, families, friends and many other activities. This sometimes leads to blood donation dropping down the list of priorities. With the launch of National Blood Donor Week, Canadian Blood Services is urging Canadians to put blood donation at the top of their list of things to do.
One in two Canadians will need blood at some point in their life; people like Michael Leyva, who was born premature and needed three blood transfusions at two weeks of age to fight a life-threatening infection. Michael celebrated his fourth birthday on Jan. 1, 2017, and is alive and healthy thanks to the generosity of blood donors. Since receiving blood was a priority for Michael, Mark Donnison adds that Canadians can make giving blood a priority for them.
During National Blood Donor Week, and over the summer long weekends, Canadian Blood Services is also offering a limited-edition Canada 150 collector pin to everyone who visits one of its clinics. A digital version of the pin is also available.
How to take part in National Blood Donor Week, June 11 to 17
Legislated by the Government of Canada in 2008, National Blood Donor Week recognizes and celebrates donors for giving life. Events will be held in cities across the country during the week to thank donors for rolling up their sleeves and to encourage new donors to consider making an appointment.
On June 14, World Blood Donor Day, people in Ottawa can learn their blood type alongside Members of Parliament and employees of various partner groups at an outdoor, blood typing event Canadian Blood Services is hosting on Parliament Hill.
In addition to making donations to help hospital patients, people are encouraged to educate others on the demand for more donors by sharing their own blood donation story on social media using the hash tags #givelife and #NBDW2017.
Elected officials will also be participating in clinics across the country, promoting and making blood donations as well as meeting with donors and recipients. Several are scheduled to attend Canadian Blood Services’ regional Honouring Our Lifeblood recognition events taking place in 14 communities from June 11 to 17.
Did you know?
- Last year, it is estimated Canadian Blood Services helped more than 650,000 patients across the country through the products and services it provides; its support was possible thanks to the generosity of more than 785,000 donors (including blood, organ, stem cell and financial donors).
- One in two Canadians will either need blood or know someone who will at some point in their lives.
- Across Canada, Canadian Blood Services must collect 16,000 units of blood every week.
Donors asked to share more to celebrate National Blood Donor Week
Events across the country to recognize donors and inspire more
Canadians to donate
Ottawa – Canadian Blood Services is thanking its 420,000 blood donors during National Blood Donor Week from June 8 to 14, and inviting them to share their reasons for rolling up their sleeves to help inspire other Canadians to do the same.
“National Blood Donor Week is a time to celebrate Canadians who have helped save lives through blood donation,” said Mark Donnison, Vice-President of Donor Relations. “This week we are also hoping to welcome new donors to help replenish our blood supply on a regular basis.”
Additional donations are especially important heading into the summer, a difficult period when many donors are away and not in a position to give. “We also lose 40 per cent of our donor base each year,” said Donnison. “As our most frequent donors are getting older, it’s more important than ever to have new donors join us now and throughout the year.”
Elizabeth Naumovski will be donating blood during National Blood Donor Week and encouraging friends and family members to do the same. She first started donating nine years ago after her mother was diagnosed with stomach cancer and was told she might require blood transfusions to help save her life. Wanting to help, Elizabeth overcame her fear of needles and made an appointment at a local clinic.
“Looking back, I didn’t know how simple it was to donate blood, the donation itself was only five or six minutes” said Elizabeth. “I was able to pay it forward and give someone a precious, lifesaving gift. Now I try to donate regularly.”
Elizabeth shared her story with friends and coworkers, and now donates regularly as part of a group, turning the appointment into a social lunch event. She hopes stories like hers will motivate new donors to make an appointment.
- Every year, close to 40 per cent of blood donors stop donating for 12 months or more due to a variety of reasons.
- Canadian Blood Services needs about 170,000 additional donors per year to maintain the national blood supply.
- Approximately 52 per cent of Canadians say they, or a family member, have needed blood or blood products for surgery or for medical treatment. Every minute of every day someone in Canada needs blood.
Donors can share their donation story on social media using the hashtag #sharemore. To book an appointment and share more of yourself, download the GiveBlood app or visit blood.ca.