Saturday, February 8, 2014

Why I'm Getting Another Blood Test

Another visit to Lifelabs for me!
In the last five years I've had so many blood tests that I've lost count. Luckily, I'm not at all needle phobic (also part of the reason I have about six hours of time logged in the tattoo chair) but for a relatively healthy person, you might wonder why in the world I've had so much testing. Quite a lot of the needles were because of regular prenatal testing, but for a few of them I went out of my way to get poked.

Why am I rolling up my sleeves yet again? Research. Though I've never been interested enough to actually pursue a career in the sciences, I love reading about new research projects. It's amazing how far scientific research has brought us in the last few hundred years. Besides the brilliant work of the scientists & lab technicians, there were also a lot of people who contributed to that work by donating samples for research.

Rolling up my sleeve for cancer research
The way I get to help out with current research is to share studies that are still looking for participants here in social media land, but also to participate as a 'guinea pig' myself. The latest one that I've joined is called the BC Generations Project. It's the BC segment of a larger Canada-wide study looking at the causes of cancer & other diseases. The BC Generations Project is looking for up to 40,000 people aged 35-69 to help by filling out a survey online (or by paper via snailmail if you're still into that) on lifestyle & health, then eventually donating a little blood & urine at a community lab near their home.

Once they have the samples, the aim is to follow the participants long-term to discover how environment, lifestyle & genes contribute to disease. If you are interested & eligible to join the study, they do need more people to fill out the questionnaires & roll up their sleeves.  

For more information, please visit the BC Generations Project website, like their Facebook page &/or follow @BCGenProj on Twitter.

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