For the Ouimet – Gregory family, blood donation is a way of life. Claudette and Frank were first drawn to donating in the 1970’s with the chance to win a colour television.

Although their names weren’t drawn, Canadians in need of blood were the real winners and the couple hasn’t looked back. Moved by the chance to be part of something important, they have been strong advocates of Canada’s blood system ever since.

For this active, community-minded couple, it’s now an important part of their lifestyle. Referring to themselves as “Ambassadors of Blood Donation,” Frank and Claudette are always on the lookout for ways to introduce others to the importance of giving blood. Frank is a retired forensic scientist, Claudette works as a clinic assistant and they also share a home-based business and love to travel…so there is always an opportunity to spread the word.

Although attitudes vary, uncertainty is the most common response when they talk to people about donating blood.

“Everyone is a little afraid at first; its natural,” says Claudette. “I just say ‘you don’t know what it’s like until you try it. Try it just once, you might like it.’”

Claudette speaks of her mother’s first visit to a blood donor clinic. “She was so surprised, she was in her 80’s and thought that there would be people lying on the beds crying and hurting, instead she saw a bunch of people doing something wonderful and having a good time.”

Frank encourages people to donate by telling them, “The people are great and your fellow donors are wonderful, it feels good to be part of a community helping others. I don’t belabour it,” he continues, “I just introduce people to the concept and let them make their own decisions.”

As they speak with others, they often hear personal stories of people who know someone who wouldn’t be here today without blood donation. Frank and Claudette are dedicated to ensuring that blood will always be there for those in need.


Saving Lives, A Family Tradition (YouTube video)