The conference and all member clubs have joined up with the Canadian Blood Services in an effort to raise awareness to the need for people to register and donate blood and stem cells. This campaign came out of a discussion between BCFC President, Tyler McLaren and Kamloops Broncos Head Coach, Braden VanKoughnett. Coach Braden wanted to give back to the Canadian Blood Services for all that they do and have done for somebody special in his life. So Coach is reached out to his Football Family for help.
Braden VanKoughnett's story may not be different than your's, your reason to donate blood and stem cells.
Here is his story in his own words.
"I started donating blood when my partner was diagnosed with an illness called Severe Aplastic Anemia, I lived through my entire life lucky to have a healthy family and be healthy myself, so it took me as a shock to see the reality of what illness brings. She needs platelets and transfusions every other day, and the past month has been a real eye opener to me. I never knew about the reality and need for blood, so much so that it made me very nervous to find out that her blood type only has about 5-6 days reserve. I wanted to donate immediately as I feel it is my way of giving back and helping someone in need. I also want to help raise as much awareness as I can to encourage others to donate.
I would ask someone to really consider a couple things; do you have an hour of your life to spare every 2-3 months? If you were in a position where you or a loved one needed blood to live would you donate? If the answer is yes, I ask you to look back at my first question because that's all it takes to make a difference and help, we aren't invincible and one day you or a loved one may need blood, so pay it forward and take the time out of your life now to make a difference.
I think it is important to realize that one day you could be the one needing blood. Many people are lucky to live a "normal" and healthy life, there are a lot of people that aren't granted that opportunity, but you could help improve their situation so much with such a small and kind gesture. I think awareness is also very important, I had never donated blood before in my life, I lived a life that was completely blind to it, that's why I want to help raise awareness and talk to people about donating because I wish someone had done the same for me!
I was nervous, all my life I have not been a fan of needles, kind of an irrational fear you may call it as it is all mental for me. My first experience was amazing, the staff and the volunteers made it a welcoming and enjoyable experience. It was a pain free experience for me, the nurses were very careful but confident which made the process smoother for me. It was my first time so it was also very educational for me, I wasn't aware you are only able to donate every couple month, I was under the impression that I could donate weekly or something, that makes this cause even more important to me.
To register to donate blood and/or stem cells, please use our member club links listed below as each club, their friends, family and alumni are joining together to show how many they each can register/donate.
We will provide updates between our campaign start date, Friday, January 15th and the last day to donate for the campaign, April 15th.
Blood Registration links:
Stem Cell Registrants