Give thanks, #GiveLife

Family of young platelet recipient thankful for the generosity of blood donors

(CANADA)- Canadian Blood Services reminds all eligible donors that they have the power to give life this Thanksgiving and encourages them to make blood donation part of their celebrations.

“What a great way to give thanks,” says Mark Donnison, vice president of donor relations. “There is always a greater need for blood around long weekends, as many regular donors are busy and unable to donate. This weekend is the perfect time to bring a family member to a clinic and give thanks by giving life.”

Over long weekends, there is a particular need for life-saving platelets, which have a short shelf life. Donations from generous people can make all the difference. The story of Regina’s Landon Henry is living proof.

In 2010, seven-year-old Landon was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia, a condition where the bone marrow doesn’t produce enough new cells to replenish a person’s blood. An attempt to suppress his immune system failed, resulting in the need for a bone marrow transplant. While he waited for the procedure, Landon received 30 platelet transfusions. Thanks to the transplant and the numerous units of blood and platelets, Landon was able to return to his family and his love of sports.

“When platelets are very, very low, it’s an extremely dangerous situation, and you’re constantly worried,” says Landon’s dad Craig. “We are so grateful that Landon is healthy now, thanks to the generosity of blood donors. I encourage people to take the time to donate this Thanksgiving weekend and help give life to someone like Landon. Countless families like ours will be eternally grateful.”

You can help give life to patients like Landon by booking an appointment to donate.

“Platelets are derived from blood and are critical to help stop bleeding and unfortunately expire just five days after donation,” says Donnison. “If you’re on the road this Thanksgiving, we encourage you to give where you go by downloading our GiveBlood App and finding a clinic close to your destination.”

People can book an appointment to give life by downloading the GiveBlood app or by visiting

Quick Facts:

  • Canadian Blood Services needs to collect a minimum of 18,000 units of blood each week to meet the needs of hospital patients.
  • Platelets are often used by patients undergoing treatment for diseases such as cancer
  • Platelets are one of the components required to make blood clot. They are approximately one quarter the size of red blood cells. They are not whole cells, but fragile cell fragments.
  • Because they are so fragile, platelets have a life of 5 days. This means that a maximum of five days can elapse between donation and transfusion.