Here's why donating blood is the most selfless thing you can do this year

Dec 18 2018, 10:39 pm

The start of a new year is a wonderful time to make positive changes in your life, and one of the most important changes you make could be the selfless choice to help others. We’re not exaggerating; you could save someone’s life, and soon.

Here’s a very real example.

Donating Blood/Shutterstock

Seven-year-old Cameron Bulger was just like any young boy his age — cheerful and filled with laughter. However, after suffering from silent seizures in his first grade class early in 2018, Cameron was diagnosed with a Grade 4 CNS Embryonal Tumour in his brain, requiring an intense treatment protocol including six rounds of chemotherapy, three stem cell transplants, and proton radiation therapy.

“We had noticed some behavioural changes in Cameron, but never once did we even consider the possibility that he would be diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer,” his mother, Sharon Bulger, says.

Over the next six months Cameron was admitted to the hospital full-time in order to receive treatment. On Cameron’s intense treatment, Sharon says, “Honestly, cancer treatment is so brutal — the effects of the chemotherapy wreak havoc on so many of the body’s systems. But it is amazing how incredibly resilient kids can be.”

Recently, a miracle happened and Cameron’s scans returned with no evidence of cancer, and, although he has completed his treatment, he will continue to have regular blood work and scans every three months to monitor his health and ensure he remains cancer-free.

When asked about the importance of donating blood, Sharon says, “Cameron received over 50 transfusions while he was in the hospital. Blood donations are one of the reasons that Cameron is still with us today and for that, we are eternally grateful. I only wish I could thank every donor that helped to save our boy.”

Cameron Bulger/Canadian Blood Services

Thinking about donating?

More than half of Canadians will need blood at some point in their lifetime, and your gift will help Canadian Blood Services to educate the next generation of donors while meeting a constant demand for blood.

To become a blood donor, you must be at least 17 years old, in good health, and able to perform your normal day-to-day activities. If you fall between the 17 to 23 age group, make sure to check that you meet the Canadian Blood Services’ height and weight requirements.

If you’ve gotten a tattoo or piercing recently, your temporary deferral period is now just three months — donors previously had to wait six months before becoming eligible. If you’re a cannabis user, you’re still eligible to donate.

If you have any further questions about your eligibility to donate blood, call 1-888-2-DONATE for more information. Or, visit blood.ca to take a simple 2-minute eligibility quiz, where you can also make an appointment to donate blood.

Make a difference, donate today.

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