Cara Michelle Siu
"There’s this remarkable sense of giving without expectation of reciprocation. It’s about giving for generosity; not for security nor admiration nor duty. I find this viewpoint refreshing and somehow freeing."
From recipient to donor to media spokesperson for cord blood, Cara has both benefited from and contributed to Canada’s Lifeline.
As an infant, Cara received a lifesaving transfusion. Then, more recently in 2015, she gave back to the transfusion and transplantation system — by donating her baby’s cord blood as a “special symbolic thank you to the person or people who donated blood for me as a newborn.”
“Donating my child’s cord blood matters because it gave me the opportunity to support someone else’s health, or possibly support research to improve someone else’s life,” says Cara.
Cara was also driven by the need for stem cells from donors of mixed ethnicity. By donating her son Jasper’s cord blood — and given his unique genetic makeup of Chinese, Trinidadian and Caucasian heritage — Cara is helping to increase ethnic and multi-ethnic diversity in Canadian Blood Services Stem Cell Registry to better meet the needs of patients.
The overall cord blood donation process (which Cara says was “truly easier than cooking dinner for my family!”) has made her reflect on the value of giving.