Donating blood and saving lives

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On Feb. 14, Canadian Blood Services hosted an “in honour” clinic for

my daughter, Heather Vincent King. Thanks to the organizational skills of Dana Meadus, community development organizer, Paul McGrath, public affairs manager and those who attended, the event was a huge success. One hundred and eighty-one potential donors attended province-wide.

I wish to thank everyone who helped make this wonderful day where we “paid it forward” to help others in need of blood, blood products and stem cell donations. Heather was unable to attend her clinic as she was in the hospital, but her presence was felt by all who attended. She has received numerous blood products and it is a relief to know they are always available to her when needed.

I spent the day at the clinic in St. John’s and the staff did an amazing job of making everyone feel welcome. I was busy there all day with friends and family coming in to donate and support Heather.

Canadian Blood Services retirees Helen Dunne, Mary Kennedy and Beth Hogan dropped by to say hello. Their visit meant a lot to us.

We often hear someone was saved from drowning or a burning building and we wish we could be that hero  who saved a life. Well, you can! Blood donors and stem cell donors save lives every day they reach out to someone in need. Blood donors are Heather’s heroes. She is alive today because of people like them.

Heather is continuing chemotherapy at the Health Sciences Centre. We cannot ask for more caring and competent doctors, nurses and auxillary staff with whom she has had contact. You are all very special to us.

A bouquet to Danette Dooley, a freelancer for The Telegram. She came to our home as a reporter and left as a friend. Your article, Danette, captured the essence of what I wanted to share of Heather’s journey. Thank you.

In closing, I would like to thank the anonymous gentleman on the Air Canada plane from Halifax who shared his family’s experience fighting cancer, and said, “I want you to know Heather is winning.”

Thank you all and God bless.

Jean Vincent

St. John’s

Organizations: Heather.Canadian Blood Services, Health Sciences Centre, The Telegram Air Canada

Geographic location: Halifax

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  • david
    April 07, 2013 - 13:33

    If asked the question, the vast majority of Canadians would almost certainly agree that life is precious, and that our health care system should be expected do everything that it is technically capable of doing to save and improve lives. Well, that usually costs a lot of money. So with this mindset, people are really saying that saving lives is worth the expenditure of a lot of money. Fine. Then why does the Canadian government not help ensure an adequate blood supply by letting donors get paid for supplying their blood? This system works remarkably well in the U.S.....I don't recall the last itme I heard of a cry for more blood there. Here, we have far too many last-minute cancellations of surgical procedures ---- at ENORMOUS cost and logistical inefficiencies to the system--- because of lack of blood. By offering compensation for blood providers, the U.S. gets all it needs, despite having volume needs that are far greater than ours. You can whine and moan against "U.S. for-profit health care" all you want...but our system is going into the toilet, and people die and suffer for terribly stupid reasons here. So with all the other problems with the Canadian health care system, and there are legion, why not solve this most basic of issues? Heck, even just a decent personal tax credit for donating might be enough! Donors can still donate...nothing would discourage or stop them from doing so. But those who would not otherwise give blood --- and that is a VERY big number ----- would be motivated to do so.