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A Way to Give Thanks on Thanksgiving

Posted on 06/10/2009 12:00am

Kelowna Capital News Published: October 06, 2009

The Kelowna blood donor clinic will be open on Thanksgiving Day for the first time, and is still in need of at least 75 more donor appointments.

"Since we moved to our Monday through Thursday schedule this year, our clinic will now be open on several holidays throughout the year, including Thanksgiving Day," said Tammie Watson, community development coordinator.

"It's so important that we fill up these days just like any other day because blood is needed by hospital patients every day of the year."

The Kelowna clinic will be open special hours in honour of the family-focused holiday, and will run from 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Kelowna resident Deborah Rogers and her five-year-old son Aiden will be celebrating the holiday in Vancouver this year, as Aiden aggressively battles acute leukemia at B.C. Children's Hospital.

Aiden was diagnosed just five months ago, when taken to his doctor after signs of fatigue, paleness, and bruising appeared.

He was rushed to Kelowna General Hospital within a matter of hours, and then airlifted to B.C. Children's Hospital in Vancouver the next day.

Aiden immediately began an intense 10-month treatment program to rid his small body of cancer.

"We are on an emotional roller-coaster," said Deborah.

"However, we take the good with the bad, and will fight to the end. Aiden wouldn't be here if there wasn't blood for him when he needed it.

"We are so eternally grateful to everyone who gives blood as it has truly helped save my child's life."

In Vancouver, Deborah will be giving her first-ever blood donation in honour of the battle her son is facing, and with the holiday need in mind.

"We struggle with collecting enough blood on holiday weekends, as blood donation can become a last priority," said Watson.

"We've changed the clinic hours so that you can donate blood before sitting down for your big turkey dinner with family and friends.

"Give thanks by giving back to those that need it most, like Aiden."

Canadian Blood Services needs to collect 10,500 units of blood throughout the month of October across British Columbia.

To do your part to help meet that need, call 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283) to book an appointment for Monday, Oct. 12.