Blue Line


April 16, 2013  By Sandra McQuade

384 words – MR

Students learn value of blood donations

by Sandra McQuade

High school student Ricardo DaSilva understands the value of donating blood. His cousin has cancer and has to undergo frequent blood transfusions.


When the Grade 12 student learned last year that the Toronto Police Service (TPS) and Canadian Blood Services (CBS) were reaching out to students for donations, he was first in line.

“I certainly think that this is a good cause because it helps save lives,” said DaSilva, who joined several of his Archbishop Romero Catholic Secondary School classmates and students from other neighbouring police divisions at a donor clinic on April 8.

“When I heard they were doing it again, I asked students to sign up.”

The students made the donation at a mobile clinic in the parking lot of Toronto Police 12 Division. The CBS mobile clinic is a climate-controlled tractor trailer that can be set up in a parking lot or curbside.

Patrick Arruda has similar reasons for giving blood.

“I know friends who need blood transfusions and am happy that students are being given an opportunity to donate blood.”

Regardless of the motivation, CBS community development coordinator Roop Sidhu welcomed the students’ participation.

“A lot of our donors are between the ages of 40 to 60,” he said. “As our donor base gets older, we are always looking for new donors. Our goal each year is to get 80,000 to 90,000 new donors across Canada.”

Each donation is just under a pint of blood. “That’s a safe amount,” Sidhu added, “but before we draw their blood, we make sure they are the right size and weight to make a successful donation.”

Organizers were happy with the turnout. “It was an amazing day and we reached our target,” one commented.

The 30 units of blood collected from the students participation translates to 90 lives saved in a day.

In the past two years, 172 students have participated in five clinics – three at 12 Division and two at 42 Division. Of that total, 135 have donated blood that translates up to 405 lives saved.

“These are some amazing stats and illustrate the great work that the TPS has done to make lives possible for many,” Sidhu said.


Picture has four layers at 3.5 inches wide.

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