Canadian Blood Services

Canadian Blood Services

December 12, 2006 10:35 ET

Record Number of Donors Give Blood on Honour of Canadian Troops

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 12, 2006) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available on the CP picture wire via CCNMatthews.

Chief of the Defence Staff Rick Hillier today received cards and wishes from more than 20,000 Canadian blood donors across the country, collected between November 1st and 30th. The presentation was made today by Gaetan Dallaire of Calgary, a long-time blood donor with 28 years of service in the military, and father of fallen soldier Private Kevin Dallaire.

From coast to coast, Canadians took the time from their busy schedules to pay tribute to troops and veterans at home and overseas with thousands of heartfelt notes. "This pint of blood is a small appreciation to you," says one donor, "for a brave and dangerous job you are all doing. " And another: "I am wearing red every Friday as are my three grandsons. Come home safe."

When this fifth annual OPERATION ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES kicked-off in late October, Canadian Blood Services hoped to exceed last year's "in honour" campaign that gathered over 2,900 signed cards. The year's overwhelming response is a strong message of how proud Canadians are of our Canadian Forces.

"Canadians are united in wishing all men and women serving in the military a safe holiday," says Canadian Blood Services Chief Executive Officer Graham Sher. "Our soldiers put their lives on the line to defend and save lives at home. Blood donated in their honour is a fitting tribute."

"We appreciate the continuing support from Canadian Blood Services and blood donors across the country," added General Rick Hillier, Chief of the Canadian Defence Staff. "Your thoughtful words will brighten the day of thousands of men and women at bases across the country, and abroad."

In October the Canadian Forces and the Royal Canadian Legion became the first national Partners for Life with Canadian Blood Services. By joining this program these organizations are also making a commitment to work as a team to recruit 8,000 units of blood at CF bases and other locations across the country in the coming year. And since every donation can save or improve up to three lives, 24,000 Canadians will potentially benefit from the generosity of Canadian Forces personnel and veterans every year.

The Canadian military has an historic link with the blood system. It was during the Second World War that Canadians began to donate blood to help wounded Canadian troops. The response at the time was so generous Canada's voluntary blood bank was born, and countless lives have been saved ever since.

Earlier this year, Canadian Blood Services and Hema-Quebec took their relationship with the Canadian Forces to a new level when they signed an agreement to help create a "walking blood bank" program. Canadian Blood Services pre-screens troops who are being deployed on active duty so that the CF has access to on-call donors in the event where large quantities of blood are needed, or when supplies are exhausted. The agreement also sees Canadian Blood Services training CF nursing and laboratory personnel in the art of drawing and testing blood according to the highest Canadian, and world standards.

About Canadian Blood Services

Canadian Blood Services is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization that manages the blood supply in all provinces and territories outside of Quebec and oversees the country's Unrelated Bone Marrow Donor Registry. A dedicated team of about 4,500 staff and 17,000 volunteers enable us to operate 41 permanent collection sites and more than 19,000 donor clinics annually. Canadian Blood Services is a non-governmental organization, however the Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health provide operational funding, and the federal government, through Health Canada, is responsible for regulating the blood system.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Blood Services
    Anne Trueman
    Manager Media Relations
    (613) 739-2538 (Work)
    (613) 295-5622 (Cell)