Hon. Terry M. Mercer (Acting Leader of the Senate Liberals):
Honourable senators, June 10 to 16 is National Blood Donor Week. Blood donors are a vital link in Canada’s lifeline, because Canadians rely entirely on the generosity and commitment of donors to keep the lifeline going.
According to Canadian Blood Services, over 100,000 new donors are needed every year to help meet patient needs in Canada.
There are many reasons to join in this endeavour. Every 60 seconds, someone in Canada needs blood and donors are needed every single day of the year. It can take up to five donors to help a father through heart surgery, eight donors a week to help treat a child with leukemia, 50 donors to save a loved one from a car crash.
Unfortunately, honourable senators, less than 4 per cent of eligible donors sustain the blood system for all of Canada. More regular donors are needed to maintain the national inventory of blood and blood products.
I am fortunately the son of a blood donor who gave hundreds of pints of blood in his lifetime. I’m also a lucky recipient of several blood transfusions a number of years ago. Donating blood is one of the most direct ways you can help someone. Without the commitment of donors, Canada would not be able to meet the needs of patients.
During this National Blood Donor Week, I encourage you all, if you have not already, to consider becoming an active donor, but also to urge your friends and family to do the same. You never know when you, or they, will be in need of blood.
We also thank all the donors from across the country for giving of themselves in the fight to save Canadian lives.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.