Of blood and bone marrow

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Canadian Blood Services needs donors; GoFundMe set up for Alex Pasichnyk

The need for blood donations doesn’t take a holiday. Earlier this week, Liz James, the territory manager for donor relations with Canadian Blood Services, went before city council to ask Mayor Heron for a proclamation about it.

“This is the time of year when collecting blood is a challenge,” she said.

During her presentation, she noted that less than one per cent of the eligible population attended blood clinics in the city last year, and that 253 more blood donors are needed over the holidays. She said that blood is needed for transfusion every minute of every day.

The next clinics will be held as follows:

  • Fri., Jan. 5 (3:30 to 7:30 p.m.) at Red Willow Community Church;
  • Sat., Jan. 6 (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) at St. Albert Seniors Association;
  • Wed., Jan. 10 (3:30 to 7:30 p.m.) at St. Albert Inn; and
  • Thurs., Jan. 11 (1 to 5 p.m.) at Military Family Resource Centre

Visit www.blood.ca to make your appointment.

All in for Alex continues with progress

Hope for Alex Pasichnyk has grown after a series of bone marrow donor clinics resulted in more than 1,300 new registrants for the OneMatch program. The 12-year-old girl needs a bone marrow transplant since going into total bone marrow failure after a diagnosis of rare aplastic anemia over the summer.

A GoFundMe page has also recently begun to collect monetary donations to help the family with the next stage of the process. “Fortunately, there are some preliminary leads and the Pasichnyk family has been told to be prepared for a potential transplant in January,” the page (found at www.gofundme.com/allinforalex) reads.

It has already amassed $1,600 of its $7,500 fundraising goal.

Alex will need to be in Calgary for three months since bone marrow transplants are not performed in Edmonton. The funds will be used for travel, living and lodging expenses.

In addition, the Ron Hodgson car dealership at 5 Galarneau Place is helping the family raise money, while helping others deal with the cold winter too. The business is selling toques for $45 with $5 from each one sold to go to the Pasichnyks, while also donating a new toque to a homeless shelter. The dealership’s staff also had their recent staff Christmas party and passed around the hat for the Pasichnyks too, and are also apparently planning a bone marrow drive of their own.

Giving tree continues

You should see the trees inside Servus Credit Union Place and Fountain Park Recreation Centre. They’re absolutely bedecked with some of the most unique decorations, including scarves, toques, hats, mittens, gloves and socks.

City staffers, led by the Recreation and Parks department, are hosting their first annual holiday donation drive, which asks the public to donate new items of winter clothing. The items first become decorations but after Jan. 9, 2018, they get delivered to the St. Albert Community Village for its clients.

Drop-off bins are located in front of Guest Services desks at both facilities.

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About Author

Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.