Campaign looks for a little blood

Canadian Blood Services’ new Remember the Power of Giving campaign is rallying residents of BC's Interior region to pay tribute to military service men and women who have, or are currently, serving our country by donating blood this November.

The campaign was inspired by Cpl. Darren Fitzpatrick, who died in March 2010 at age 21. Cpl. Fitzpatrick was injured in the line of duty while serving with international forces in Afghanistan. A series of blood transfusions  prolonged his life so he could return home to Prince George to say goodbye to his family and pass away peacefully amongst loved ones.

“Initially when our son passed, his father Jim and I were limited in our involvement with media,” said
Darren’s mother, Colleen Fitzgerald.“We wanted to make sure if we were to honour Darren it was a cause we believed in. Supporting Canadian Blood Services is our opportunity to share Darren’s story and to pay it forward.”

Canada’s voluntary blood system was born following the last year of World War II when about 890,000 blood donations were collected from Canadian civilians for military hospitals.

“Dedicating your gift of life to a member of the Canadian Forces is a meaningful way to say thank you to service men and women, both active and retired, who have sacrificed their lives for our country,” said Alana MacKay, an event specialist with Canadian Blood Services in Kelowna.

“Blood donated in Canada may be used to help treat Canadian troops as we are occasionally asked by the Canadian Forces to ship blood products to military hospitals. The shared history between the military and our nation’s blood system spans more than 70 years.”

The ongoing national partnership between the Department of National Defense and Canadian Blood Services reflects the long-standing relationship between the two national organizations.

During the month of November, blood donors in BC are invited to submit stories on the individuals they are donating in-honour of at permanent clinics and online.

The in-honour stories will be displayed in blood donor clinics and on the region’s Facebook Page which will also help spread the message to remember the power of giving across the web.

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