Members of the Red Deer Titans Rugby Football Club are going to continue donating blood through the year to reach a goal of 40 donations.
Monday saw the first of the donations by four of the members, Mark Smith, Logan Thevenaz, Aaron Soley and Dallas Hicks.
“I saw the card that said August 5th is when I can donate next so I will call to make an appointment then,” said Thevenaz after what he called a “virtually painless” process.
Also at the donor clinic was blood recipient Kayla Whissell.
At only five years old, Whissell was in a bicycle accident in which the handlebars hit her under the ribs and ruptured her spleen.
When she was flown by STARS air ambulance to Calgary Children’s Hospital her parents were informed they would have to sign a consent form for blood transfusions or Whissell would not survive.
After five units of blood and a month and a half in the hospital, Whissell went home.
Now, a Grade 11 student at Hunting Hills High School, Whissell advocates for her friends and family to donate blood as well as speaking on behalf of Canadian Blood Services (CBS) as to the importance of the donations.
“It’s an opportunity for someone else to have a shot at life and a donor to make a difference in the community.”
Whissell talked to the members of the rugby team about how important it is to continue donating and what a difference the donations can make.
“Some people think the blood goes internationally but it stays here in the community. When people see there is someone here in Red Deer who has received blood they think again about donating.”
Mike Haugen, Red Deer Titan and vice president of the Red Deer Titans Football Club, said that the team has become a Partner for Life with CBS and that the team plans to continue their donations.
“We’ve definitely been known to bleed on the field so we decided to come in and bleed for a good cause.”
He said the team recognizes that there are always people in need and explained that the goal was to become involved and make a difference in the community outside of their sport.
Donors are eligible to donate every 56 days. By the end of August, CBS has to collect a total of 3,600 donations to keep blood banks in good supply; that’s enough blood to save 11,000 patients.
“Each blood donation saves three lives, and I was one of them,” said Whissell.
For more information visit www.blood.ca.