Edward Byers


Eganville, Ont.

"The Mennonite community’s values rekindled my spirit. In their words, if you can help, it is a sin if you don’t — and help they have, along with all the other incredible people who give."

For almost five decades, Ed has been involved in saving lives. A 30-year veteran paramedic for the County of Renfrew and a blood donor for 45 years, Ed first became a volunteer for Canadian Blood Services in 2000 as a member of the local Rotary Club.

Among his many accomplishments, Ed has successfully run the annual Sirens for Life summer blood donor challenge for first responders — and gained positive media coverage for Canadian Blood Services.

He has also been instrumental in facilitating blood donations from the local Mennonite community.

“This community can’t be reached by phone or email, so gaining their support for giving blood meant meeting with some elders and slowly building relationships over tea and in the fields,” says Ed. Prior to each donation event, Ed would also drive out to the farm of community leaders to remind them of their upcoming donation. This community has since become an integral and reliable group, attending donation events, even on stormy nights when it takes them a long time to travel by horse and buggy.

Edward Byers National Honouring Canada's Lifeline 2019