To give life, become a blood donor

National Blood Donor Week reminds us we each have a blood type to give

(OTTAWA) – To mark National Blood Donor Week, Canadian Blood Services is celebrating blood donors from across the country who make a lifesaving difference to patients in need. Without the generosity of donors, patients would not receive the lifesaving surgeries and treatments they need. National Blood Donor Week runs from June 13 to 18.

“National Blood Donor Week honours Canadians who selflessly give life in support of their communities and our country,” says Mark Donnison, vice-president, donor relations. “One in two people are eligible to donate, yet only one in 60 actually does,” says Donnison. “We really need more Canadians to start donating blood and make it a regular habit throughout the year.”

Every year, close to 40 per cent of blood donors stop donating for 12 months or more for various reasons. This year Canadian Blood Services needs over 100,000 new blood donors to come forward to meet patient needs.

Blood donors provide a lifeline to patients like Kelly Lee from Kelowna, B.C. Kelly is coping with an undiagnosed medical condition. She needs regular blood transfusions to live and is grateful to blood donors for their support. See Kelly’s story:

“I wish donors would get to know that because of them I get to live,” Kelly says. “There’s no better feeling than being a hero and realizing that people are alive because of you. When you donate blood, you get to save a life.”

Each of us has the right blood type to give life: ABOAB. This acronym refers to the four big blood groups — A, B, AB, O. Blood type is one way we are all connected, and your type can help save your life or someone else’s. 

About National Blood Donor Week: How Canadians can participate

Legislated by the Government of Canada in 2008, National Blood Donor Week recognizes and celebrates blood donors across the country who have selflessly chosen to give life. Blood donors can share National Blood Donor Week social media posts using the hash tags #givelife and #NBDW2016.

Throughout the week, elected officials will attend Canadian Blood Services’ regional Honouring Our Lifeblood recognition events taking place in 18 communities across the country. They will also donate blood in local clinics, thank donors for rolling up their sleeves, and encourage new donors to consider making an appointment.

Canadian Blood Services has also teamed up with 3M for the first time to support the global Nexcare Give campaign in June, which promotes the need for blood donations. To get involved, use the hash tag #giveinspires on Facebook.

To discover all the ways you can give life and to book an appointment, download the GiveBlood app or visit

Quick facts

  • Last year, approximately 388,000 Canadians rolled up their sleeves to donate blood.
  • Every week this year close to 2,000 new donors are needed to ensure we can help hospital patients. That’s 100,000 new donors in 2016, 27,000 more than last year.
  • One in two people are eligible to donate, yet only one in 60 actually does. That’s four per cent of the eligible population supporting 100 per cent of all Canadian patients who need blood transfusions.
  • Approximately 52 per cent of Canadians say they, or a family member, have needed blood or blood products for surgery or for medical treatment.