S/Sgt. Dave Ecklund is very aware of the need to donate blood.
Since being diagnosed with aplastic anemia and obtaining a bone marrow at age 12 from younger brother Mike that saved his life, he has been an active Canadian Blood Services (CBS) supporter.
“I required a bone marrow transplant to cure me,” he said. “If I didn’t get this transplant, I was told I had six months to live. During my several months in hospital, I was given dozens of blood transfusions to keep me alive. In high school and university, I attempted to donate blood to give back what I had used. Unfortunately, I was unable to do so because the cause of the aplastic anemia I had was never found. So in 2001, I applied and started volunteering my time with CBS.”
In the last 12 years, Service members have been rolling up their sleeves during the summer to make blood donations as part of the CBS Sirens for Life Challenge that kicked off earlier this month.
Sirens for Life is an annual competition among Toronto Police, Toronto Fire and Toronto Paramedic Services to determine which organization can give the most blood donations over the summer.
The program helps to sustain blood donations during the summer months when donations are typically lower as regular donors are often on vacation
Each year, TPS members donate approximately 300 units of blood.
“As first responders we often see the need for blood first hand in our daily duties,” said Ecklund who is the West Field Command Executive Officer. “Many of us also have personal stories of how blood transfusions helped save our own lives or the lives of our loved ones. Demand for blood is higher during the summer months while donations tend to dip with people away on holidays.”
This year’s Challenge runs until September 5.
With permanent locations in major centres and open appointments throughout the week, it’s easy to book an appointment, locate a clinic, check your eligibility, and more, by using the Give Blood App, calling 1-888-2-DONATE (1 888 236-6283) or visiting blood.ca at https://www.blood.ca/en.
Canadian Blood Services has undertaken enhanced wellness measures to protect donors, staff and recipients during the current COVID-19 situation. For more information, please visit: https://www.blood.ca/en/covid19. During this time, appointments are required to ensure physical distancing
All members of the TPS as well as friends and family donating on behalf of the TPS can use Code TORO 009312 to have their donation tracked as part of the Sirens for Life Campaign.