Blood clinic coming up on Tuesday: will you donate?

Joel
Joel van der Veen
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Earlier this year, when I was still working in Davidson, I was out on assignment for the town’s weekly newspaper, hoping to shoot a couple of pictures during a blood clinic at the town hall.

I’d done the same thing the year before, and I knew the drill: I’d need to track down a donor or two who would agree to have their photo taken.

Before long, I had the photos I needed, and I was getting ready to leave when I ran into a friend of mine, who asked me if I was planning to make a donation myself. I said no.

“Why not?” she asked.

Her question caught me by surprise. I had to admit that I didn’t have an answer for her.

Moose Jaw’s next blood clinic is taking place Tuesday, and for those who weren’t planning to attend, I’d like to ask you the same question.

The clinic will be held at the Moose Jaw Exhibition Centre on Thatcher Drive East from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., so those working during the day can come by in the evening.

And if you have the time, the ability to get there and the capacity to give, why wouldn’t you?

Canadian Blood Services is the agency responsible for recruiting blood and bone marrow donors, and for collecting blood, plasma and platelets. In addition to 41 permanent collection sites, more than 19,000 donor clinics are conducted each year.

The blood donated is used during a variety of surgeries and medical treatments, from hip replacement and cardiovascular surgery to treatment for cancer and leukemia. It can be used to treat a patient who has been in a serious car accident, or someone suffering from internal bleeding.

The donation you make could prove vitally helpful to someone in an emergency or at a time when they need it most.

To donate for the first time, you must be at least 17 years old and younger than 71, and you must be in good general health and feeling well on the day of your donation. Potential donors will also be screened at the clinic to determine their eligibility to give blood.

When I walked into that clinic in the spring, I had no plans to give blood, and I had no good reason not to. It simply wasn’t something I’d ever considered before.

And still it took a simple question from my friend before I decided it was worth 60 minutes (or less) of my time.

It was not a complicated process. I got a prick in my finger to check my iron level (that was, truthfully, the most painful part), and I answered some questions from a nurse who put me completely at ease.

I had my blood pressure checked. I scarfed down a couple of cookies because I hadn’t eaten lunch yet. Then I sat down to give blood. After a few more minutes, I was free to go.

Not everyone has the time or ability to give blood, and I can certainly understand that. With blood clinics only taking place once a month in Moose Jaw, it can be difficult to set aside an hour.

But for all who are able and can make it out on Tuesday, I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so. Walk-ins are permitted, but if you can, make an appointment first by calling 1-888-2-DONATE.

It’s an hour of your time that could make a big difference for someone else. Remember, Tuesday night between 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Exhibition Centre.

For more information, check out blood.ca.

Joel van der Veen can be reached at 691-1256.

Organizations: Moose Jaw Exhibition Centre, Blood Services

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Davidson

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