October 2015, The GGB Team
Our first ever blood donor drive was a fabulous success. Over 30+ eager participants woke up early on a Saturday morning of Thanksgiving weekend to go through the two hour screening process to donate blood at Canadian Blood Services (CBS) at their University of Alberta site. The reward of helping those who need blood products was great in and of itself, but the free juice, cookies, and soup were an added bonus!
Our volunteer extraordinaire, Tara Reber, did an amazing job arranging this blood drive on behalf of GGB and provided such thorough information of what to do before donating, and what you should expect.
Our assigned CBS volunteers Keri Cable and Sandra McKinley were ready to answer our questions regarding how one persons donation can save up to four lives. Keri also gave additional information into the importance of stem cell and bone marrow donation, through the OneMatch program. OneMatch is responsible for finding and matching volunteer unrelated donors worldwide to patients who require stem cell transplants, which can help treat and cure over 80 different diseases.
All of our eligible volunteers committed on the spot, giving consent through a health questionnaire and knowledge quiz before swabbing the inside of their cheek to collect cell samples. These cell samples are provided to the OneMatch registry to determine if they are a match for any international or local patient in need.
Because so many people who wished to donate but were unable to make the date, we will be doing this drive again and making this into a regular GGB event. There is always a need for all blood types and products, and we are fortunate and blessed in the fact that we can give to this population in need, by just donating our time to help them out. Keep checking our website and Facebook site for announcements into the next date.
If you have any questions about being a first time blood donor, or would like to join the OneMatch program, please contact Canadian Blood services at www.blood.ca or call 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283).