Thursday, September 4, 2014

You Can Be A Hero: Donate Blood

Approximately every minute of every day, someone in Canada needs blood. That's a shocking statistic, but what does it really mean? Who are all these people that need blood? According to a recent poll, 52 per cent of Canadians say they, or a family member, have needed blood or blood products. Reasons for blood transfusion include surgery, car accidents, cancer treatment, leukemia & anemia. Blood transfusions are received by people of all ages, ethnicities & genders, including premature infants. If you stop & think about it for a moment, you probably know a lot of people who've received blood transfusions at some point in their lives. Many people who would likely have died without the blood that another person donated.

Before I donated, they checked my hemoglobin: all good!
More recently, another parent blogger I know needed blood. A lot of blood. Marilyn Belsham ( was suffering from stomach issues and in and out of hospital. She was admitted to hospital for surgery, which led to serious complications, including blood loss. As a result, she was placed in a medically induced coma in the ICU. When other local bloggers got together to decide how we could help, her husband mentioned that she had received many blood transfusions & the family would appreciate it if people would donate blood in Marilyn’s honour. When Marilyn was conscious & heard what we were planning this is what she had to say:

“Just letting you know I've recovered enough to become aware of things like this. Keith (my husband) mentioned it to me and I think it's great that you are all involved in this. In the end I received many units of blood - well over 100. I am still in hospital and will be here for an unknown period of time but it's nice to know there's so much support out there!”

This post is a call to action. I would like you to go to the Canadian Blood Services website & figure out if you're eligible to donate. The basics to donate are:
  • You must be at least 17 years of age, in general good health, and feeling well on the day of your donation. 
  • You must weigh at least 50 kg (110 lb). 
  • The minimum time between blood donations is 56 days (8 weeks). 
  • You must have a hemoglobin of at least 125 g/L. 
I got a zipper pull after my third blood donation.
Go to the site, however, because there are a few other restrictions based on where you may have lived or other lifestyle factors (see here for more info). If you are eligible, please call 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283) to schedule an appointment to donate at your nearest clinic (or you can do it online here). There are permanent blood donor clinics in Vancouver & Surrey, plus mobile clinics all across the Lower Mainland - you can find one near you at

If you are not eligible to donate, please help spread the word (share this post on social media, intiate a conversation on Twitter & use the hashtags #bloggersforblood & #alotoflovesformarilyn, urge your friends in person to donate) or volunteer with Canadian Blood Services.

Think about it this way: one blood donation - in just one hour - can save a life. In one hour of your time, you can save someone's life. That makes you a hero.
Follow Canadian Blood Services on Twitter, Facebook, & YouTube for more information.

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