Canadian Blood Services has launched a province-wide Facebook campaign called, “Be On Sam’s Side," in support of nine-year old Sam Gardner of Grand Falls-Windsor who is battling aplastic anemia, as well as other children in Newfoundland hospitals who, like Sam, need blood.
Aplastic anemia is a condition in which his bone marrow fails to produce enough new blood cells .
Sam is a regular young boy, a huge hockey fan and player, who also loves swimming, and hanging out with his friends and big brother, 11-year old John.
Since his diagnosis in June, Sam has been receiving blood and blood products every second day to give him the cells that he can't produce on his own. Often, if a compatible donor can be found, a stem cell transplant can be the recommended response to his condition. Fortunately, Sam's brother is a perfect match. Matches within the family only occur less than 30 per cent of the time. Remaining patients must rely on the generosity of volunteer donors through Canadian Blood Services’ One Match Stem Cell and Marrow Network.
The Gardners departed for Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto on Aug. 2 to prepare both children for the procedure which will occur in the coming days.
Canadian Blood Services in Newfoundland was inspired by Sam’s story and have worked with the family to develop the “Be On Sam’s Side” Facebook campaign to show support for Sam, and in turn, all other children in the province who rely on blood donations for their health or survival.
The campaign invites all Newfoundlanders to “Be On Sam’s Side” by visiting the Facebook site and participating in the various activities listed there during August, which could include booking an appointment to make donation of blood in honour of Sam.
More about how to “Be On Sam’s Side” can be found by visiting the website: www.facebook.com/NLBlood
Anyone with questions can also call 1-888-2-DONATE to confirm their eligibility to donate, or make an appointment online at www.blood.ca.