Barry Gerding/Black Press Gayle Voyer (right), with Canadian Blood Services, joins other volunteers along with Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran (third from right) and city councillor Tracy Gray (third from left) to illustrate the importance of blood types O and A donations by lining up with t-shirts to spell ‘Kelowna’ absent of those letters.

Need to donate blood emphasized in Kelowna

National Blood Donor Week runs June 11 to 17

Angelo Stradiotto knows first-hand the importance of donating blood.

When Stradiotto’s father fell down a flight of stairs, he required blood transfusions in the follow-up surgery.

“Those blood transfusions were important for him to sustain himself through his surgeries,” said Stradiotto, a Kelowna resident and a deputy with BC Sheriff Services.

That point was reinforced later when his first child was born three months premature, requiring an extended stay at BC Children’s Hospital.

“Thankfully my son didn’t require blood but it was there if he needed it, and being around children in need of care during that time it was hard not to notice other children who required a lot of care and aid, and some of that aid was in the form of blood transfusions,” he said.

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran (left) and city councillor Tracy Gray are joined by BC Sheriff Services deputy Angelo Stradiotto to cut the ceremonial cake to mark the start of National Blood Donor Week from June 11 to 17. Barry Gerding/Black Press

So to mark National Blood Donor Week from June 11 to 17, Stradiotto along with fellow sheriff James Goodlad were at the Kelowna Blood Collection Centre on Tuesday to promote the cause and, in the case of Goodlad, donate blood.

“I encourage all law enforcement agencies and others to come down and help out by making a donation,” said Stradiotto.

“Blood donations are truly needed and affects a lot of people, but one day it could affect people you know or yourself.”

Gayle Voyer, with Canadian Blood Services, said about 500 blood donor appointments are still available between now and July 1, noting that summer is also a challenging time for blood donations because people’s regular lifestyle habits change with vacations, people visiting and the kids being out of school.

“It’s always a challenging time for us each summer because it becomes tougher to get donations but the need continues to be there,” Voyer said.

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran offered his encouragement in reading a proclamation recognizing National Blood Donor Week in the city.

Basran said donating blood is such a simple and accessible gesture that carries life or death ramifications for a future blood recipient.

“It’s important to donate now rather than after a serious accident like the Humboldt bus accident or something that happens to someone close to us, and then it may be too late. You may have initial fears about the process or think donating blood is hard to do, but it’s actually quick and easy. There is really nothing to it,” Basran said.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


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barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

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