No downside to giving blood

Refreshments, cookies, stickers, camaraderie and love are among the reasons to give.

Last month

Welcome to 2013! May it treat you well, and often.

Resolutions can be pretty dodgy, and discouraging, so I’m playing it safe this year: love more, want less; observe more, fear less; listen more, talk less; read and write more…and value the day. Seems like a fairly safe list. Right? Note the ‘fairly’.

Speaking of ‘love’, that’s an intangible Canadian Blood Services staff and volunteers freely dispense, and accept, at province-wide blood donor clinics.

Friends and I regularly volunteer at Langley’s Murrayville mobile clinic.

While dispensing refreshments, cookies, ‘Be Kind to Me, I Donated Blood Today’ stickers, and general camaraderie, the reasons folks donate blood never fails to motivate and reward  us.

Sandy Dunkley, 67, and husband, Gene, 70, lost their 35-year-old son, Ron, on Jan, 4, 2011 after a Seattle car accident which took place in November 2010.

Blood donations helped keep Ron alive for 60 days, giving family and friends extra cherished hours with the 15-year Langley firefighter.

Last month firefighters and Canadian Blood Services staff converted a bay at Langley Firehall No. 1 into a clinic. The resulting 118 donors topped B.C. clinic charts for the month.

Sandy and Gene, who also donated, enthusiastically circulated, explaining what donations had meant to them, and their son.

Between serving cold drinks, and delectable donated Frostings Cupcakery treats, my thoughts gravitated, as usual at clinics, to my son’s best friend, Dave Sirec, and Cathy George, my friend’s daughter. Both battled cancer, aided by donated blood from similar province-wide clinics. Despite sad results, we partnered with them – and many strangers Canada-wide – to fight for their lives.

Following my shift, I spent an extra hour banking my Scottish blood.

As the nurse assisted me off the mobile cot, she smiled, and said; “Thank you for saving a life today.”

The pleasure was all mine – and it wasn’t just for the extra cupcake!

Call 1-888-236-6283 to book an appointment to donate, or volunteer, at a clinic near you.

If you are not eligible to donate, encourage friends and family to do so.

– Ursula Maxwell-Lewis is the founder of the Cloverdale Reporter. Find her on Twitter @YouTravel, or at

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