To say this year’s Bleed Green Touchdown campaign was a success would be an understatement.
“Five hundred and five was our goal. We thought it would be a big goal to have 101 donations per month, and it's about a five-month campaign,” said Canadian Blood Services (CBS) community development coordinator Michelle Miller.
“We thought 101 because it's the 101st Grey Cup that Regina is hosting this year and that it would be a good coinciding kind of goal. We ended up more than doubling the goal, so it was just an incredible turnout.”
The final tally for the fourth annual province-wide campaign, which began on June 6, when the Saskatchewan Roughriders kicked off training camp in Saskatoon, reached 1,192 blood donors.
Not only was the large number of units of blood Saskatchewanians donated well beyond the campaign’s goal, it also brought in more than the province’s weekly average of 1,000 units of blood.
“The Bleed Green campaign brought in more donations than we need to collect in an entire week in Saskatchewan,” stated Miller. “So it kind of gives you an idea of how important the program was to us and what kind of donations it brought in.”
Miller noted that a new tracing measure used to tally the number of people coming through the doors and donating blood with Bleed Green was very helpful this year.
But more important than any new tracing measure was the involvement of Rider players.
“There's a lot of different things we do with the campaign, but one of the major things that brings people in the door is the different Saskatchewan Roughrider football players that come out to different clinics.
“They promote blood donation and sometimes they donate and hang out with the donors and act as a fun piece of the clinic,” said Miller. “It definitely makes a huge difference in our collection.”
Ultimately, donating blood saves lives and Regina’s Courtney Domoney knows that very well.
More than a decade after she was diagnosed with kidney cancer at age seven, fighting through the removal of her right kidney, part of her left lung and six months of chemotherapy, Domoney is healthy. She will lead the Canadian flag onto the field for the Bleed Green portion of the Riders last regular season home game, Nov. 2.
“It’s hard to imagine what would’ve happened to me without blood donors – I’m glad I’ll never have to know. I am so thankful for that – donors helped save my life. Help save other people too,” said Domoney.
Donating blood is a gift that, according to Miller, is a donation that you can be assured is going to the right place.
“It's a gift that is absolutely priceless and it's a gift that is used every single day across the whole country,” noted Miller.
The next blood donor clinic in Moose Jaw is Nov. 5 from 2 until 8 p.m. at the Exhibition Company.
Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks