Open letter to Canadians
Over the past several days, Canadians from across the country came together in grief following the tragic incident that took the lives of 16 people and injured 13 others.
What you did last week to honour 16 lives lost too soon saved many others
Over the past several days, Canadians from across the country came together in grief following the tragic incident that took the lives of 16 people and injured 13 others. The loss of life and the extent of severe injuries amongst the Humboldt Broncos are unfathomable, and will linger with the families, the community, and all of us across the country, for a very long time.
Every day, Canadian Blood Services welcomes blood donors to our facilities and helps them do something incredible: save a stranger’s life. In the days that followed the accident, we saw something we will not soon forget. A significant number of donors came forward, filling up walk-in appointments and booking spots to come in well into May. Others made financial donations to our organization in support of the patients we serve. Many Canadians also registered their intent to donate their organs and tissues. This outpouring of support reminded us of the true privilege it is to do what we do every day — connect generous donors with grateful recipients. Patients across Canada rely on us to collect blood and make it available when they need it, enable their access to organ donation and transplantation, and find the right stem cell match when they need a transplant. We could not do what we do without those who take the time to make a difference.
I have heard from employees across the country who have felt personally affected by the Humboldt Broncos tragedy and who were thankful — but not surprised — for all those who were motivated to take real action. While we could have felt powerless to help the victims and their families, we, as a nation, chose to help others in need. I don’t believe there is a better way to honour those we have lost, and I deeply thank those who donated or signed up to registries, and our dedicated staff and volunteers who made sure the experience was as seamless as possible.
While blood, organs and tissues, and financial donations are needed every day to support Canadian patients through many unnamed and unpublicized personal events, the type and scale of this incident and others like it move people to action. I am hopeful that this wave of support will continue, and that those who came forward will donate regularly for the patients who need them every single day, and inspire others to do the same. We at Canadian Blood Services know how important it is to ensure this lifeline exists at all times, and we are honoured to manage a national system enabling this.
We continue to keep the individuals, families, friends and communities affected by this terrible tragedy in our thoughts and hearts.
Dr. Graham Sher CEO, Canadian Blood Services