Graham's Corner

As stewards of Canada’s blood system, we know there’s a lot competing for your valuable time, and that we must ensure your experience with us is rewarding and positive so you will keep blood donation top of mind when you have some time to spare.

Canadian Blood Services has consistently met the demand for blood over the years. However, this past October, we faced a critically low blood inventory and launched a nationwide appeal for blood donors. Canadians responded overwhelmingly and patients received the blood they needed. We are making it a priority to recruit new blood donors to meet the future needs of Canadian patients and avoid the need to launch another appeal.

As our population ages, we need to invest now for the future. We have put a lot of effort into building or expanding programs that directly reach young donors. As a start, we have introduced Wi-Fi in our clinics, launched a new mobile app to make booking appointments more convenient, and created a new website that is mobile friendly. We have also introduced a new eligibility quiz on our website to help you understand whether you can donate. Visit from your mobile device or computer to learn more.

We know that another great way to introduce new donors to the blood system is through peer recruitment. Supporters of the blood system are incredibly dedicated people and many take it upon themselves to spread the word and encourage others to donate, register for the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network or volunteer. In this issue, we are featuring three such dedicated individuals: Brent Cairns, Jennifer Baron and Dennis Koebel. Whether they encouraged others to donate blood through social media, held birthday celebrations at a local blood clinic or simply started a conversation and prompted someone to get involved, they and hundreds like them are inspiring others and saving lives. You can also read about other dedicated donors, volunteers and partners and how we celebrated them at our annual Honouring Our Lifeblood event.

If you are a regular donor, we look forward to seeing you again soon. We encourage you to have conversations with others and inspire them to follow your lead and change a life. If you made your first donation recently, thank you very much for making this important and life-changing decision. I hope you will consider making blood donation a regular part of your life. Whether you donate every 56 days or once in a while, have registered with OneMatch or have signed your organ donor card, you’re helping to save or improve a life — and for patients in Canada, there’s no better gift.