As he nervously waited for a bone marrow transplant, Detective Sergeant David Ecklund recalls the uplifting visits he received from 52 Division officers that lifted the tension.
His father, Inspector Doug Ecklund, who retired in 1995, was assigned to the downtown Division at the time.
“Officers would often come by and bring hockey pucks from Maple Leaf Gardens,” recounted the 43 Division officer, who was diagnosed with aplastic anemia. “That certainly lifted me and brought a smile to my face.”
He obtained a bone marrow transplant from younger brother Mike Ecklund – an environmental scientist in Ottawa – that saved his life.
While scouring the internet recently, Ecklund’s wife stumbled upon a story of a young boy with aplastic anemia.
“She brought it to my attention and I decided to reach out to his family,” said Ecklund, who has been an active Canadian Blood Services donor for the last 15 years. “Medicine can only do so much for you. It’s always nice to see a smiling face and have something to cheer you up.”
On March 16, Ecklund took six-year-old Oliver Ferguson on a tour of the Mounted, and Marine and Police Dog Services facilities.
“Ollie loves cars and animals,” said the boy’s father, Robert Ferguson, who accompanied him on the trip. “He was so happy when the officer offered to do this for him.”
Ferguson’s health problems surfaced in October 2014.
“He just woke up yellow one morning,” said his dad. “After some blood tests and an ultrasound, it was discovered that he had two kidney stones and his liver enzymes were almost 2,000, which is nearly 1,960 over the normal maximum.”
He was diagnosed with aplastic anemia in April 2015.
“My boy needs a bone marrow transplant urgently,” said his father, laid off from his construction job in September 2014. “His three-year-old sister (Scarlett) is a perfect match, but she may have some health problems.”
During the visit to the Horse Palace, Sergeant Kristopher McCarthy took Ferguson on a tour of the horse barns.
“I love horses and my favourites here are Honest Ed and Trooper,” said the little boy. “This is so much fun seeing so many big horses.”
Learn More About Oliver at Olliestrong
Anyone who wants more information on how you can donate blood or bone marrow stem cells visit blood.ca