Canada’s Lifeline in Need of Support to Save Lives During the Season of Giving
December 13, 2021 (OTTAWA) – The festive season can be a very busy time for people, but Canada’s Lifeline must be ready to support all patients at all times. Canadian Blood Services has an immediate need for blood and plasma donations, and new registrants for the Canadian Blood Services Stem Cell Registry. Across the country, over 18,000 blood donation appointments need to be filled between now and January 4, 2022.
For many patients, the need for blood goes hand-in-hand with the need for other blood products such as plasma and platelets. Stem cell recipients often need additional blood products as part of their treatment to beat illnesses such as cancer. Canadian Blood Services is asking for your support to ensure patients have access to the products and treatments they need this season and going forward into the New Year.
“Canadian Blood Services is calling on you, whether you’ve donated before or this would be your first time giving, to support Canada’s Lifeline,” says Dr. Graham Sher, Chief Executive Officer. “In addition to blood and plasma, there is also an immediate need for people to join the Canadian Blood Services Stem Cell Registry.”
Greg Duerksen of British Columbia is grateful for Canada’s Lifeline, having received a stem cell transplant and platelet transfusions to treat acute myeloid leukemia. Stem cells, specifically blood stem cells, are immature cells that can develop into any cell present in the bloodstream. They can be used to treat more than 80 blood diseases and disorders. However, for stem cells to be transplanted successfully, donor and recipient must be a close genetic match. After not having a match within his family, Greg’s medical team turned to the Canadian Blood Services Stem Cell Registry and thankfully they found a donor.
“Throughout the pandemic we’ve relied on dedicated donors to help patients in any way they’ve been able, whether that has been through blood, plasma, platelet donations, volunteering at donor events, financial gifts or donations of stem cells and organs and tissues,” says Dr. Sher. “We appreciate your commitment and I want you to know that you have helped save and improve lives with your selfless generosity. I am confident and hopeful that people across the country will respond, yet again, to our current call for donors.”
Supporters of Canada’s Lifeline are needed year-round, but especially during holidays. Because of statutory holidays during the month of December, several collection opportunities will be lost. Select donor centres across the country will be open on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, in addition to regularly scheduled operating hours. Appointments are necessary as part of the COVID-19 protocol, and enhanced wellness measures continue to be in place in donor centres. We urge eligible individuals between the ages of 17 and 35 to join Canadian Blood Services Stem Cell Registry online.
This season join Canada’s Lifeline and give the greatest gift of all – the gift of life.
To book an appointment, download the GiveBlood app and join Canada’s Lifeline. Please call 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283) or book now at blood.ca.