Gift of life needed this holiday season

Give some red or give some green, but either way, there’s one gift that will go straight to the heart this holiday season.

The B.C. and Yukon Canadian Blood Services is out in full force to gather a supply of 10,400 units of blood over the next couple of weeks.

But, donating blood in the northeast is a problem – the nearest clinic is more than 200 kilometres away.

Spokesperson for the B.C. and Yukon branch, Angela Poon, says it’s simply too costly to have clinics in every jurisdiction.

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The nearest clinic to Fort St. John is in Grande Prairie, Alberta, and even that clinic runs only once per year.

Prince George is the closest clinic that runs twice per week. Poon says oftentimes, northern residents schedule an appointment when they are visiting Prince George.

For other ways to support the cause, Poon suggests registering as a stem cell or bone marrow donor. She says this option is great for rural residents who wish to help out. Participants get a swab-kit mailed directly to their household. There, they can perform the oral-swab, mail the kit back, and then wait for someone who requires the matched-marrow.
 

If the participants wish to continue on with the process, all accommodations and travel expenses are paid for if a marrow donation is needed. (Usually participants must fly to Vancouver for the surgery.)

Poon says if any of those methods aren’t suitable, giving a financial donation also goes a long way.

She says whatever method you opt for, it could save a life over the holidays.

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For more information clinic times, visit www.blood.ca, and for more information on becoming a marrow donor, visit www.onematch.ca