Clayton Heights students see red

Clayton Heights Secondary students join a national blood drive.

Clayton Heights Secondary’s Alonzo Wadden

Clayton Heights Secondary’s Alonzo Wadden

The very idea of making a lifelong commitment while you’re still in high school may seem like a tough sell.

But that’s exactly what Canadian Blood Services’ ‘Young Blood for Life’ campaign is pitching to teens across the country.

The national recruitment drive aims to get teens to regularly donate while they’re still in high school, in hopes that giving blood will become a habit of a lifetime.

Clayton Heights Secondary was ready to take up the challenge this school year.

The students and staff have so far donated blood 24 times since September and are asking other students to take up the challenge this year, along with their friends and family.

Schools compete against each other to see which can donate the most blood by the end of the current school year; Clayton Heights is up against Enver Creek Secondary.

CHS has about 16 school donors who are giving blood regularly, but Sheri Montgomery, an instructor, wants to see that increase to at least 24.

Eligible donors can give blood every 56 days. Campaign participants are shuttled to the Canadian Blood Services permanent clinic at 10-6830 King George Boulevard, where the process of giving blood takes about an hour.

“I’m very proud of those who step up and are attending regularly,” Montgomery says. “I hope it will be a lifelong commitment.”

Donors must be 17 years of age, in good health, weigh at least 50 kg or 110 pounds, and undergo a thorough screening process first.

Fifty-two per cent of Canadians say they have – or have a family member – who needed blood.

Joining the campaign was an easy decision for Montgomery.

“I have type O blood,” she says. “I’m a universal donor.”

It’s the type that’s most in demand by hospitals and is often in short supply. Regardless of type, blood is always in great demand. One donation can save up to three lives.

Canadian Blood Services says out of a class of 30 students, at least 15 of them, or a family member, will need blood during their lifetime. But just one will end up giving blood.

The Young Blood for Life challenge continues for the rest of the school year. Community members can give blood on behalf of Clayton Heights Secondary using the following member code: #CLAY002369.

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