Encouraging blood donation in Brant

News Feb 01, 2014 by Victoria Gray Brant News

Erika Crawford had 56 blood transfusions last year.

The 18-year-old from St. George was diagnosed with S1 protein deficiency, a clotting disorder, an iron deficiency and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome — a connective tissue disorder that effects her muscles, joints and organs — in 2012.

She has had many surgeries, including a skull realignment, total ACL repair, spine decompression and more.

“It's a progressive disease,” she said. “I know it's only going to get worse.”

Without the blood transfusions that keep her stable, Crawford would have many more problems — or worse. She may not be here.

“I know what it's like to be sick,” she said. “There are so many other people who need support and I want to give back.”

Crawford wants to encourage people to give blood at the first Canadian Blood Services blood donor clinic in St. George, taking place at the St. George German School on Feb. 8 from 9 a.m. until noon.

The clinic is sponsored by the Brant Masonic District, St. George Lodge No. 243.

Although Crawford can't give blood, she will be there to greet people who attend the clinic to let them know how needed they are.

Her father, Darren, and boyfriend, Matt, will be there donating on her behalf.

Pam Slotegraaf and her daughter, Ava, will also be there to greet donors, thank them and let them know how donors helped Ava regain her strength.

The eight-year-old, who lives on the edge of the County of Brant near Cambridge, is in remission after a two-year struggle with lymphoblastic lymphoma, a form of blood cancer, when she was four years old.

She received eight blood transfusions during that time.

“If the blood hadn't been there for her when she was sick it would have been much more difficult, but it was and thankfully she's healthy now,”  Slotegraaf said.

Lisa Syms, development co-ordinator for Canadian Blood Services, said one donor can help up to three people, but usually only one.

She's hoping to see about 60 people sign up for the St. George clinic and says there are plenty of spaces left.

Slotegraaf said a lot of people may think the procedure is painful, but she says from experience it's not – and it only takes about 45 minutes.

“It's so worth it,” she said. “Just to know how many people you could be helping with a variety of problems, like cancer – that's closest to our hearts – but also car accidents and other blood disorders.”

For more information about eligibility or to sign up to donate, call 1-888-2-DONATE or visit www.blood.ca.

Encouraging blood donation in Brant

St. George's Erika Crawford tells her story in the hope that others will give

News Feb 01, 2014 by Victoria Gray Brant News

Erika Crawford had 56 blood transfusions last year.

The 18-year-old from St. George was diagnosed with S1 protein deficiency, a clotting disorder, an iron deficiency and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome — a connective tissue disorder that effects her muscles, joints and organs — in 2012.

She has had many surgeries, including a skull realignment, total ACL repair, spine decompression and more.

“It's a progressive disease,” she said. “I know it's only going to get worse.”

Without the blood transfusions that keep her stable, Crawford would have many more problems — or worse. She may not be here.

“I know what it's like to be sick,” she said. “There are so many other people who need support and I want to give back.”

Crawford wants to encourage people to give blood at the first Canadian Blood Services blood donor clinic in St. George, taking place at the St. George German School on Feb. 8 from 9 a.m. until noon.

The clinic is sponsored by the Brant Masonic District, St. George Lodge No. 243.

Although Crawford can't give blood, she will be there to greet people who attend the clinic to let them know how needed they are.

Her father, Darren, and boyfriend, Matt, will be there donating on her behalf.

Pam Slotegraaf and her daughter, Ava, will also be there to greet donors, thank them and let them know how donors helped Ava regain her strength.

The eight-year-old, who lives on the edge of the County of Brant near Cambridge, is in remission after a two-year struggle with lymphoblastic lymphoma, a form of blood cancer, when she was four years old.

She received eight blood transfusions during that time.

“If the blood hadn't been there for her when she was sick it would have been much more difficult, but it was and thankfully she's healthy now,”  Slotegraaf said.

Lisa Syms, development co-ordinator for Canadian Blood Services, said one donor can help up to three people, but usually only one.

She's hoping to see about 60 people sign up for the St. George clinic and says there are plenty of spaces left.

Slotegraaf said a lot of people may think the procedure is painful, but she says from experience it's not – and it only takes about 45 minutes.

“It's so worth it,” she said. “Just to know how many people you could be helping with a variety of problems, like cancer – that's closest to our hearts – but also car accidents and other blood disorders.”

For more information about eligibility or to sign up to donate, call 1-888-2-DONATE or visit www.blood.ca.

Encouraging blood donation in Brant

St. George's Erika Crawford tells her story in the hope that others will give

News Feb 01, 2014 by Victoria Gray Brant News

Erika Crawford had 56 blood transfusions last year.

The 18-year-old from St. George was diagnosed with S1 protein deficiency, a clotting disorder, an iron deficiency and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome — a connective tissue disorder that effects her muscles, joints and organs — in 2012.

She has had many surgeries, including a skull realignment, total ACL repair, spine decompression and more.

“It's a progressive disease,” she said. “I know it's only going to get worse.”

Without the blood transfusions that keep her stable, Crawford would have many more problems — or worse. She may not be here.

“I know what it's like to be sick,” she said. “There are so many other people who need support and I want to give back.”

Crawford wants to encourage people to give blood at the first Canadian Blood Services blood donor clinic in St. George, taking place at the St. George German School on Feb. 8 from 9 a.m. until noon.

The clinic is sponsored by the Brant Masonic District, St. George Lodge No. 243.

Although Crawford can't give blood, she will be there to greet people who attend the clinic to let them know how needed they are.

Her father, Darren, and boyfriend, Matt, will be there donating on her behalf.

Pam Slotegraaf and her daughter, Ava, will also be there to greet donors, thank them and let them know how donors helped Ava regain her strength.

The eight-year-old, who lives on the edge of the County of Brant near Cambridge, is in remission after a two-year struggle with lymphoblastic lymphoma, a form of blood cancer, when she was four years old.

She received eight blood transfusions during that time.

“If the blood hadn't been there for her when she was sick it would have been much more difficult, but it was and thankfully she's healthy now,”  Slotegraaf said.

Lisa Syms, development co-ordinator for Canadian Blood Services, said one donor can help up to three people, but usually only one.

She's hoping to see about 60 people sign up for the St. George clinic and says there are plenty of spaces left.

Slotegraaf said a lot of people may think the procedure is painful, but she says from experience it's not – and it only takes about 45 minutes.

“It's so worth it,” she said. “Just to know how many people you could be helping with a variety of problems, like cancer – that's closest to our hearts – but also car accidents and other blood disorders.”

For more information about eligibility or to sign up to donate, call 1-888-2-DONATE or visit www.blood.ca.