Lord Tweedsmuir students and staff donate 1,000 units of blood
Over the past nine years, Grade 12 students, staff, and alumni from Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary School have donated more than 1,000 units of blood to Canadian Blood Services.
The blood donor program at the school had humble beginnings in 2006, according to Michele Stea, the teacher who recruited the student donors. During the first year that the program ran, a total of 25 units of blood were collected. In each of the following years, the number of donations increased, reaching a peak of 193 units in 2012. Donations have fluctuated over the past four years, but have consistently been above 100 units per year.
“I was thrilled when I realized that, at some point in May of this year, one of our students made the 1,000th donation”, said Stea. “I think this is a great accomplishment, and is a reflection of the caliber of students we have at Lord Tweedsmuir.”
Giving blood requires some courage (especially the first time) and a sacrifice of time (about one-and-a-half hours). According to Stea, during the nine years she has been running the program, there have been more than 400 students who have become regular blood donors.
“The fact that so many teenagers from our community have stepped up to donate is awesome," she said.
In addition, many Lord Tweedsmuir alumni have continued to donate blood, which is the true legacy of the program.
“Shortly after I started the donor program, Canadian Blood Services initiated a program called “The Young Blood Challenge,” said. Stea. "The main goal of the program is to encourage young people to become blood donors."
The need for blood is ongoing, and with many older donors aging out of the program, there is a great need for new members to take their place.
The Young Blood Challenge is a competition amongst secondary schools across Canada, with prizes given to the top donating schools in each region. Lord Tweedsmuir has twice been the recipient of prize money, which was awarded as scholarships to graduating students who participated in the program.
Canadian Blood Services' Surrey clinic is located at 15285 101 Ave. To make an appointment to give blood, call 1-888-2-DONATE.