Back in 2007, Laura Poelstra, 14, was suffering from aplastic snemia, a blood disorder that prevents the bone marrow from producing new blood cells, but thanks to a donor — a New York City firefighter — she is feeling fine now.
Local-area firefighters will follow suit by attempting to donate more blood than the Vancouver Police Department, the RCMP and the B.C. Ambulance Service as part of the Canadian Blood Services’ third annual Sirens for Life blood donor challenge.
Canada Blood Services donor service’s regional manager Britt Andersen said that they could always use donations, not just for the challenge.
“In British Columbia, believe it or not, (just) under three per cent of the eligible population donate blood,” said Andersen.
“It’s pretty remarkable when you consider that almost 50 per cent of the population will at some point either need blood or know someone close to them that will need blood.”
Laura’s father, Syd Poelstra, said you never know when you or a loved one is going to be the one who needs it.
“That’s definitely the case for our family. This was right out of the blue and that’s probably the biggest message for people to realize.”