Blood donor main­tains fam­ily tra­di­tion

The Expositor (Brantford) - - NEWS - ALEX VIALETTE EXPOSITOR STAFF avialette@post­media.com @ alexvialette

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

ALEX VIALETTE/ THE EXPOSITOR

Michelle Benjamin do­nates blood for the 50th time at the Paris fair­grounds dur­ing a blood drive ear­lier this week.

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