NATIONAL Blood Donor Week (June 11 to 17) 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 January 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
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.
To book an appointment today, locate a clinic, check your eligibility and more, download the GiveBlood app or visit blood.ca.