The family of a nine-year-old West Kelowna boy diagnosed with brain cancer last year is urging the public to give blood.
Lee-Ann Morcom, whose son Connor is now in remission after having a tumour removed and undergoing both radiation treatment and chemotherapy, said Tuesday she was more than happy to help give back after all the life-saving transfusions her son received during his cancer fight.
“Before this, I didn’t really know cancer patients needed transfusions,” said Morcom.
But given her experience with her son and her gratitude, she said not only is she asking others to give, she said her family will also step up its donations.
“You’ll see us around here a lot more,” she said during a brief ceremony at the CSB office in Kelowna where her son was presented with a cake to help kick off a donation drive in his name.
Morcom said Connor has had 25 transfusions since he was diagnosed with a brain tumour last year and underwent surgery.
Her husband, Darren, who accompanied his wife and son Tuesday rolled up his sleeve and gave blood.
Like his wife, he said he was so thankful to all the people who donated blood and, as a result, helped his son.
He said he was also thankful for both the excellent treatment Connor received at Children’s Hospital in Vancouver and the welcoming and supportive atmosphere at nearby Ronald McDonald House, where Connor and his mom stayed for extended periods over the last year.
“It really was like a home away from home for them,” he said, adding Lee-Ann and Connor were there for the better part of the last year.
While they were in Vancouver, Darren and Connor’s 11-year-old brother, were in Kelowna, making frequent trips to the Lower Mainland to be by Connor’s side.
In addition to Darren’s donation, more than 100 people signed up to give blood Tuesday in Connor’s name, including a number of players on his favourite hockey team, the West Kelowna Warriors.
Prior to his illness, Connor said he loved playing hockey.
Gayle Voyer, territory manager for Canadian Blood Services in Kelowna said anyone who wants to give blood is encouraged to do so, and if they want, they donate in Connor’s name by quoting a special number — COUR242111—when booking their appointment. To book, go to the CBS website at blood.ca.
The blood drive in Connor Morcom’s name will run until Jan. 31, but members of the public are encouraged to donate at any time.
Watching the donation promotion around Connor on Tuesday was Susan Sullivan, who was making her 201st donation.
She said she started donating as a young university student living in Calgary in 1967 and has continued to do so ever since.
She said it’s so important for so many people and like the Morcom’s she encourages everyone who can do so, to give blood.
“I do it because it’s something that’s so easy to do,” said Sullivan.