While it’s important for people to get out and donate blood, the summer months often see a decline in donors.
Canadian Blood Services is issuing a call for donors, with over 22,000 needed before Labour Day.
The blood that is donated will help out a wide variety of people, including others like Leah Barnard who needed it during her battle with cancer.
Thirteen years ago, Barnard was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma at the age of 27 — a rare disease where cancer cells are found in the bone or soft tissue and is most frequent in teenagers and young adults.
When she was diagnosed with cancer, she said a lot of information began to run through her head.
“What’s the next steps and preparing myself and my mind to go through it, my family, making sure everyone was there for me in support, which obviously they were, and it’s kind of a whirlwind, everything happens quite fast in terms of treatment and all that,” Barnard said.
She had to undergo 18 months of chemotherapy and a major surgery sandwiched in between everything. She relied on donated blood for her treatment, needing it for platelets and transfusions.
She was able to beat cancer and has since become a mother to two children — a 10-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter.
Since she has battled cancer, Barnard cannot donate blood herself but strongly encourages people to do so if they can.
“You never know if it’s yourself or someone close to you or a complete stranger that could use the services you would be donating.”
The reason for the recent need in blood is simply due to the fact people don’t donate as often during the summer months.
“People are away traveling, they’ve got different schedules and blood donation is just not a top of mind thing for them,” Aaron Barlow, territory manager of donor relations with Canadian Blood Services, said.
He said there’s always a need for blood.
“Blood, like fresh produce, it has a shelf life so we need to have regular donations coming in to ensure our inventories are full.”
In Regina, there are around 500 blood donation appointments available until Aug. 26. In Saskatoon, there are over 650 available.