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Starting next week, there will be more cars out on our roads. That means more accidents. And if Canadian Blood Services were to run out of gas, figuratively, people would die. Because you can’t get a refill of blood if the main tank is empty.
Earlier this year, there was a risk their tank could run empty. Because of Covid-19, fearful donors were staying away. Fortunately, after an appeal, giving went up 20%.
In fact, a friend who volunteers at donor clinics assured me, the agency takes so many precautions that you’re more likely to catch Covid-19 at home!
Canadian Blood Services maintains an online National Inventory of Blood Supply Products (https://www.blood.ca/en/blood). Earlier this week, the supply of some blood types was down to just three days. Only two common blood types had more than five days’ supply, across the whole country.
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: blood donors, gas tanks
My wife would probably be dead by now, if it weren’t for blood donors.
I can’t prove that assertion, of course. It’s almost impossible to prove that something didn’t happen, that could have happened. Safety regulations can argue that traffic controls reduce the total number of accidents; they can never claim that they prevented a specific driver from having an accident.
But consider the facts.
Ten years ago, my wife was diagnosed with leukemia. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, to be precise. In those ten years, she’s had seven different chemotherapies. Six have failed; her white cell counts came down, for a while, but they wouldn’t stay down.
Here’s a vastly oversimplified explanation of a very complicated process....
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: blood donors, leukemia, immuno-globulin, plasma
While I worked in Toronto, a group from our office made regular trips downtown to give blood.
On one of those trips, I saw a man I knew walking aimlessly along the street. “Don!” I called. “Come and join us. We’re going to give blood.”
I knew Don McCallum from his time as a minister in Newfoundland. I had visited him twice in Baie Verte; he had written articles for the magazine I edited, the United Church Observer. As we lay in adjoining tiltback chairs, filling our bags of blood, he told me that he had felt that he was in Toronto because he felt that God was calling him to move on.
He didn’t mention that he had been in Toronto for several weeks already. He hadn’t found a church that needed him. He was broke, despondent, and homeless. He had just 23 cents left in his pocket.
“I was about to give up,” he told me years later. “I thought I had nothing left to give. And then you showed me that I did still have something. I could give some of my blood to someone who needed it.”
Tags: blood, blood donors, Canadian Blood services, Dalai Lama, altruism