Help Brock save lives: donate blood

Photo Credit: Canadian Blood Services

Photo Credit: Canadian Blood Services

Brock’s blood drive could save up to 360 lives if they collect 120 units this week.

The Canadian Blood Services donor event is coming to Brock University on Friday, September 20 in the Ian Beddis Gym, court four, from 10:00 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Canadian Blood Services is a not-for-profit charitable organization. Tammy Maroudas, territory manager and donor relations at Canadian Blood Services, explains that right now all blood types are needed. To donate, an individual must be at least 17 years of age, in general good health and feeling well on the donation day. To give blood it is easy to make an appointment at convenient times and locations. On the day of the event, the Canadian Blood Services staff will ask questions to determine eligibility.  From start to finish, the entire donation process takes approximately one hour.

Since the donor event will be at Brock, students can help fulfill the Canada wide need for regular donors.

“We must encourage more Canadians to become regular blood donors to meet Canada’s future blood needs,” said Maroudas. “In 2019, about 100,000 new blood donors will be needed to give life, replace the aging donor base and maintain the national blood supply.”

Dr. Gerzinus Hoekstra is an example of a regular donor.  Hoekstra loves the slogan “It’s in you to give.” He has taken this advice to heart.  As of August 10, 2019 he has donated blood a total of 200 times in his lifetime. On that special day three generations gave blood: himself, his son who has given 56 times and his grandson who gave for the first time. Hoekstra prides himself on setting a good example for his family because his sons, daughters and wife all give blood.

After he came to Canada in 1965 from the Netherlands he decided to continue donating blood here in Canada. He recounts how over the years the donation process has changed since his first donation in 1966.  He explains that back then the donors had to line up outside the Royal Canadian Legion for sometimes up to an hour.  The chairs were flat but the rewards were lots of donuts.

Today the reclining chairs are comfortable and the rewards are juice and a variety of packaged snacks. Whether in 1966, or today, the benefits of donating blood to those in need are just as important.

According to Canadian Blood Services blood donations are important in many ways to many people. One blood donation equals one unit of blood.  It takes many units of blood to save a patient.   Every 60 seconds someone in Canada needs blood and one in two Canadians will either need blood, or know someone who will at some point in their lives.

Every minute of every day, someone in Canada needs blood and often from more than one generous donor. Up to eight donors a week are needed to help someone with leukemia, up to 50 donors to help someone in a car crash, up to five donors to save someone who needs heart surgery and up to four donors a month to help someone with Aplastic Anemia.

“Giving blood is the cheapest and the most precious gift I can give to anyone,” said Hoekstra.

If you are considering giving blood you can book your appointment on the Give Blood app, calling 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283) or by visiting blood.ca.

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