Blood donor maintains family tradition
PARIS — Michelle Benjamin helped celebrate the 10th annual National Blood Donor Week by donating blood for her 50th time.
“This is my way of giving and paying it forward,” Benjamin said. ” A lot of people volunteer and do other things, this is my way of contributing.”
Benjamin and her husband made appointments to donate at a blood drive held at the Paris Fairgrounds on Monday.
Once there, she filled out a donor eligibility quiz, met with a nurse and waited to have her blood taken.
Benjamin first donated in Hamilton when she was 17.
“Back then it was called the Red Cross as opposed to the Canadian Blood Services,” said Benjamin. “I went with my mother and it was just a good experience.”
Benjamin’s parents donated often before age and medical reasons required them to stop.
Her father reached the 100th donation milestone before he finished his donor career.
Benjamin has continued to keep blood donations a part of her family’s values and encourages all three of her daughters to donate, too.
CBS runs National Blood Donor Week as a way to boost community engagement and bring in new donors.
“Over the summer — and especially now in June — we’re reminding Canadians how important blood donations are to supporting patients during the summer,” said Tammy Maroudas, CBS regional territory manager.
Donors become scarce over summer due to other time commitments and vacations.
Although half of the Canadian population is eligible to give blood, only one in 60 will donate in their lifetime, according to CBS
CBS and 100 organizations across the country are also participating this week in the Missing Type campaign, which encourages people to remove the letters A, B and O — which correspond to blood types — from their social media to highlight the need for donors.
Maroudas encouraged residents to book an appointment for the next blood donor clinic on July 5 at Branlyn Community Centre, 238 Brantwood Park Rd., Brantford, which only has 20 per cent of its capacity booked.
Residents also can drive to donor clinics in Ancaster, Guelph and Waterloo, which are open five days a week.
Benjamin said there is little discomfort in giving blood.
“I don’t mind the pin prick,” she said.
“You become a little lighter — and physically I do feel a little lighter at the time — but other than that it’s pretty relaxing.
“You just see this red thing coming out and it’s pretty cool.”
For more information, check out the CBS’s website at: https:// blood. ca/ en
This is my way of giving and paying it forward.” Michelle Benjamin
Michelle Benjamin donates blood for the 50th time at the Paris fairgrounds during a blood drive earlier this week.