Community: Elks team up with Canadian Blood Services
The Edmonton Elks teamed up with Canadian Blood Services for a donor drive on Aug. 29, encouraging blood donation, organ donor sign-up and stem cell donation registration.
With the help of Elks players, staff, fans, and even mascots, the drive was an overwhelming success, resulting in 141 units collected for the day.
“We truly appreciate the opportunity to partner with the Edmonton Elks on the recent blood donor drive,” says Jasmine Vallarta, spokesperson for Canadian Blood Services.
Blood stem cell transplants can treat over 80 diseases and disorders, including blood cancers such as leukemia, or lymphoma, bone marrow deficiency diseases such as thalassemia or sickle cell disease, and aplastic anemia. A blood stem cell donation from a healthy donor replaces a recipient patient’s unhealthy stem cells to help heal and re-boost their immune system.
The Canadian Blood Services Stem Cell Registry coordinates searches in Canada and with other international registries to match volunteer donors with patients in need of blood stem cell transplants. Donor and recipient names are confidential.
There is immediate need for donors. The national blood inventory for many types is only at five days. In the case of stem cell transplant, a match for a patient in Canada can only be found about 50 per cent of the time.
“Canadian Blood Services has seen a decrease in our donor base of 31,000 donors nationally since the beginning off the pandemic, resulting in the smallest donor base in a decade,” Vallarta says. “We are very grateful to the Edmonton Elks for generously donating blood in support of patients in need and inspiring others to do the same.”