SANTA VISITS - Santa and his elf paid a visit to Red Deer’s Canadian Blood Services clinic Dec. 8th to give blood and meet the Berry Family. photo submitted

Santa launches holiday blood drive at Red Deer clinic

The Berry Family was on site to encourage others to give blood

Santa paid a visit to Red Deer’s Canadian Blood Services clinic today to donate blood, launching the holiday blood drive.

“The big thing for us is we’re trying to encourage people to come in and donate this month because as we get closer to the holidays people get busy, but for us the need is awlays there,” said Shaun Richer, territory manager, donor relations of Canadian Blood Services of Red Deer and Central Alberta.

He added that they start to slow down towards the last weeks of December, so they are trying to encourage people to not forget about them.

On Dec. 8th the Berry Family from Lacombe was also on site. Eight-year-old Parker Berry was diagnosed with thrombocytopenia and received five blood transfusions while being admitted to the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton. Her and her mother Carrie Ann were at the clinic to thank donors for their support.

“We invited them to come to the clinic today. It’s our annual tradition that we celebrate a family every Christmas season,” said Richer.

He added that it was an opportunity to celebrate Parker, and for her family to say thank you.

“Because without blood donors we’re not quite sure where Parker would have ended up, so they definitely had an impact on her life.”

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