Friday 22 June 2012

Honouring Our Lifeblood

On June 7, 2012 I had the privilege to share my story in thanks to milestone blood donors, partners and volunteers at the York Region Canadian Blood Services (CBS) Honoring Our Lifeblood (HOL) event. As I looked out into the audience I knew that there was a high probability that 1 of the 600 blood donors that helped save my life was in the room. For sure some of the blood collected was used to save someone from our TTP community.

My experience with the Answering TTP Foundation's Partners for Life (PFL) program has taught me that recruiting blood donors is tough. According to the CBS PFL toolkit more than 80% of Canadians believe that there is a shortage of blood in Canada, but less than 4% of eligible Canadians donate blood. I never thought it would be hard to ask people to sacrifice an hour every 56 days to give something that can help save a life. Is it a fear of needles that scares people away? Maybe the sacrifice of time?

I only gave blood a few times before I found myself diagnosed with TTP and in desperate need of life saving blood product. Probably one of the reasons that I am so dedicated to sharing my story with TTP to raise awareness for the need for blood now, is that I feel guilt for not giving blood while I could. I simply didn't understand the impact that my gift could have had to help save a life. Now I do!

People are motivated to give blood for many reasons and I was honored to be a part of recognizing the 9, 924 blood donors reaching 50th, 100th and 150th donations. Every precious gift of blood has been used for someone in need and I was honored to meet these heroes!

Sydney Kodatsky, Charmaine Lodge (Master of Ceremonies, Director, Donor & Clinic Services, Central Ontario, CBS) and Jeannie Skeggs (Coordinator, Volunteer Resources, CBS)

Written by Sydney Kodatsky.

No comments: