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National campaign encourages donating blood in honour of N.S. victims

One of the victims was Tom Bagley, who had received a certificate for donating blood 100 times
blood donor stock

A national campaign is encouraging people across the country to donate blood in honour of the 22 people who were killed in a mass shooting earlier this year.

Canadian Blood Services says the two week #NovaScotiaStrong campaign is being held in memory of all the lives lost in the tragic event, including Tom Bagley, who was a regular blood donor.

"If you knew my dad, he probably helped you at some point in your life," said his daughter, Charlene Bagley in news release. "I grew up seeing this all the time when he would drop anything to help out someone in need."

"I recently discovered that he received a certificate for donating blood 100 times. He was O-negative and donating blood was something he believed was important."

Atlantic Canada's director of donor relations, Peter MacDonald, said those with that blood type are considered universal donors.

"Tom's blood could be used by anybody at any point in time," MacDonald told NEWS 95.7's The Sheldon MacLeod Show.

When someone makes a donation, it is broken down into three parts and each has a different shelf life. 

"We can freeze plasma and it can last up to a year, red cells last for 42 days ... platelets only last for 7 days, and they're a key competent in cancer treatment," he explained.

Before booking an appointment, donors can go online and take a quiz to make sure they're eligible. 

Those showing up at a donor centre will notice precautions are in place to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

"Of course everyone inside is wearing masks, we're respecting physical distancing, where there's parts of our process where we can not, you'll see acrylic barriers," MacDonald said.

Donors will still get cookies and juice after getting their blood drawn, however those items are now grab-and-go.

Those who give between Aug. 14 and 31 are encouraged to share their experiences and reasons for donating on social media using the hashtag #NovaScotiaStrong.

"So that we can share those inspiring stories across the country and hopefully attract some new [donors], and perhaps some folks who haven't donated for some time," said MacDonald."

"Donating blood is such an amazing way to make a difference in your community," he added. "What a great way to give back and to show our respect and honour."

Those interested can book an appointment through the GiveBlood app, online at blood.ca/novascotiastrong, or by calling 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283).


Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana & lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the community editor for HalifaxToday.ca.
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