Celebrating a new plasma donor centre in Brampton

Ranjit Singh Panesar, a longtime supporter of Canada's Lifeline, donated plasma on opening day. He urges others to join him.

Inspiration
June 13, 2022
Canadian Blood Services ribbon-cutting with donor at new plasma donor centre in Brampton, Ont.

Ranjit Singh Panesar, centre, joined Canadian Blood Services employees and board member David Lehberg, second from right, for the opening of a new plasma donor centre in Brampton, Ont., on May 9, 2022.

We need 100,000 new donors to join Canada’s Lifeline this year. You can help by making an appointment to donate blood or plasma sometime this summer. Using the GiveBlood app? Just click “take a selfie” to inspire others on social media. Don’t forget to tag @canadaslifeline!

For Ranjit Singh Panesar, encouraging people from Ontario’s South Asian community to support Canada’s Lifeline has been an important part of his life for many years.

A resident of Brampton for more than 26 years, Ranjit supports Blood Donation by Sikh Nation, Canadian Blood Services’ largest contributor to the pledge-based Partners for Life program. For more than two decades, Sikh Nation has partnered with Canadian Blood Services for a series of annual blood donor events across the country.

"We get everyone involved — families, young people — everyone,” says Ranjit.

In his leadership role as a Sikh Nation champion, Ranjit first worked with business development manager Lilet Raffiñan 10 years ago to organize a group donation event.

“I told Lilet we need more than just one event,” he shares. “She was very happy with that and asked where I would like them to happen. We went from three events that year to organizing many events from Windsor to Ottawa in the past year.”

Now that Canadian Blood Services’ new plasma donor centre is open in Brampton, Ranjit is excited to deepen his commitment to patients and inspire others in his community to donate plasma — which is part of blood and another powerful way to help patients through Canada’s Lifeline.

Plasma donation bag

What is plasma?

Plasma is the protein-rich liquid in blood that helps other blood components circulate throughout the body. It supports your immune system and helps control excessive bleeding, which is why plasma donations are important to help treat bleeding disorders, liver diseases and many types of cancer. Learn more about how your plasma donation helps.

 

Plasma donors are vital links in Canada's Lifeline and the need for plasma is rising — primarily because the number of conditions that can be treated with medications made from plasma is growing.

Canadian Blood Services is increasing the amount of plasma we collect across the country to meet patients’ needs in Canada today and into the future. Plasma donor centres such as the one in Brampton are helping to meet that need. Others have opened in Sudbury, Ont., Lethbridge, Alta., and Kelowna, B.C., and another centre opened in Ottawa on June 6, 2022. Learn more about plasma donation and where to donate plasma.

The incredible story of how plasma donations help patients

Watch this video to learn how plasma donors can help save lives across Canada.

Plasma and blood: so many ways to help patients

Ranjit made his own first plasma donation on opening day at the Brampton centre, and he also recruited eight other Sikh Nation members to donate plasma.

"Ranjit is already an enthusiastic local supporter of the new plasma donor centre in Brampton,” says Lilet. “He always responded generously to the need for blood, so we’re very pleased that he is doing the same for plasma."

A plasma donor at his first plasma donation at the Brampton plasma donor centre

Ranjit at his first plasma donation on opening day with Lilet Raffiñan, business development manager, at the Brampton plasma donor centre. 

Donating plasma isn’t the only way people in the Brampton area can help patients through Canada’s Lifeline. The Brampton plasma donor centre is a short drive from the Heartland blood donor centre in nearby Mississauga, Ont. Plasma and blood donors are both essential to meet the needs of patients.

Those who have a rare blood type, or who have O-negative blood — which is essential in emergencies — are urged to continue donating blood if they are eligible, especially at times of immediate need. (You can see our current inventory of all blood types on our homepage.)

“Only seven per cent of people in Canada have O-negative blood — a small percentage with a huge impact,” explains Lilet. “There is frequently a high need for O-negative donors across the country.”

If you aren't eligible to donate blood, Ranjit urges you to check your eligibility to donate plasma.

“Because India is a malaria risk area and I travel there often, I become ineligible to donate blood for some time after I return,” he shares. “But I can still donate plasma after travel to India.”

Plasma donor beds inside the new plasma donor centre in Brampton, Ont.

Our state-of-the-art dedicated plasma donor centre in Brampton, Ont., is the first of its kind in southern Ontario.

The eligibility requirements for donating are different at our dedicated plasma donor centres. This is because the plasma collected there is manufactured into specialized medications that help patients with conditions such as immunodeficiencies and bleeding disorders. In the manufacturing process for these medications, pathogens in the plasma are eliminated.

Eligibility requirements for donating plasma, blood and platelets: learn more

Whether it’s donating blood or plasma or encouraging others to do so, Ranjit can be proud of his dedication to Canada’s Lifeline.

"We need to encourage people to get involved in this cause because you're saving someone's life,” says Ranjit.

We need people in Brampton and other parts of Canada to help patients by becoming plasma donors. We may collect plasma donations near you. Learn more about where to donate plasma, or book now by using the GiveBlood app, by calling 1 888 2 DONATE, or at blood.ca.

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