Partners for Life

Meet Dharampal Kaur, wife and mother of three. Upon returning home following the birth of her third child, Dharampal was settling into her new routine when something went very wrong.

She began to hemorrhage large quantities of blood and immediately needed to be rushed to the hospital by ambulance.

“I remember feeling like I was slipping away and wanted to write a last note to my eldest daughter. Then I lost consciousness,” Dharampal says. “Later, the doctor told me I lost five litres of blood within two hours.”

Dharampal was in hospital for five days. As part of her treatment, she received 13 units of blood and blood products.

Having received a transfusion after the birth of her first child, Dharampal was no stranger to the importance of blood donation and its lifesaving role. Who knew that she would once again need blood to save her life?

“That was the first time I really felt the impact of leaving a loved one behind,” Dharampal says. “I’ve donated blood once or twice a year since then to make sure someone else has the blood they need.

“My whole family are regular blood donors. Together we support blood donation awareness activities within the community by organizing and participating in Sikh Nation’s annual blood drive,” she says.

For several years, Dharampal’s husband, Ramadeep Singh, has helped to coordinate Sikh Nation’s annual humanitarian effort in British Columbia that sees thousands of Sikh Canadians give the gift of blood.

Since 1999, Sikh Nation has put on a powerful display of community spirit and served as an exceptional model for other community partnerships with Canadian Blood Services.

Sikh Nation donates more blood than any other  group in British Columbia and on a national scale also contributes a significant number of blood donations.

For Dharampal, Sikh Nation’s investment in Canada’s blood system has returned a lifetime of benefit.

“I don’t know the people who donated the blood I needed but I am so grateful they took the time because it saved my life; nothing can replace that.”

Photography by Marcelo Dominguez