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qathet Blood Donors Group makes giving easier

Blood services, BC Ferries and resident partner up

After reading a recent Peak article about retired first responder/medic Glenn Holstine, who started a petition to try and bring a mobile blood donor clinic to the northern Sunshine Coast, Jane Short, a fairly new resident to the qathet region, started to brainstorm. 

Previously working with the management team at Canadian Blood Services, Short knows firsthand how important it is to have enough blood supply for patients in need, but she also understands limitations of having a clinic in a more remote area.

"Because I worked for Canadian Blood Services, I am aware of the multiple factors that must be considered when choosing a site for a clinic," said Short. "These include the number of units of blood that can be collected in the area, labour and transportation costs, along with the distance and access to the nearest blood-production site."

Short thought the next best thing would be to start a crusade, or group, and go to Vancouver Island to donate; and thus, the qathet Blood Donors Group was created.

Short contacted the community development manager for Canadian Blood Services, Patricia Willms, who was happy to help out with the initiative. 10 appointments were reserved for qathet Blood Donors Group for June 13, between 1:50 and 2:25 pm at the Florence Filberg Centre in Courtenay.

For the next piece of the puzzle, in order to make a group blood donation field trip as easy as possible, Short contacted BC Ferries about her initiative. The ferry company offered 40 adult walk-on travel vouchers for northern Sunshine Coast residents to donate blood. Now, Short wants to get the word out about joining the blood donors group.

"Results from the January 2024 poll on the Peak website demonstrate significant interest and support for blood donation, with 89.75 per cent of respondents voting yes to a clinic here," said Short. "A person can either take their own car, or they can let me know and get the ferry voucher. Canadian Blood Services will have a cab come [to Little River Terminal], drop them off at the clinic, and pick them up and drop them off again at the terminal."

Another option Short is hoping will happen, if more people sign up, is to carpool over to Vancouver Island.

"There's no substitute for blood; it can't be manufactured," said Short. "It's the greatest gift the person can give, in my opinion.”

For those interested in learning more about qathet Blood Donors Group, or wanting to sign up for the June 13 group trip to Vancouver Island to donate blood, Short has created a poster with a QR code (see image above), which she said will make it easy to sign up. Another option is to visit or contact [email protected].

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