Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Bloody battle for bursary helped by health minister

  • Print

HEALTH Minister Theresa Oswald barely winced when a needle poked through the skin of her arm Monday afternoon at a Canadian Blood Services blood-donor clinic.

"I am not going to lie, I wasn't a terrific first-time donor," Oswald said as blood started to flow from her arm to a bag. "I was a bit woozy, but then I got my legs under me and I think I've been a good donor ever since," she said with a laugh.

The minister has a variety of reasons for donating, and many come in the form of statistics.

"One bad car accident, 50 donors are needed to treat just that one person," she explained. "People that are going through leukemia treatment, eight people need to do what I'm doing right now just to deal with that person," she said.

Although Oswald has donated blood for 20 years, she was recruited to make an appointment to donate this time by Graeme Fortlage, a University of Manitoba student.

Fortlage is part of the Canadian Blood Services' Assignment Saving Lives, a student bursary program that helps students cover their tuition fees when they recruit people to donate blood. The program is open to students in grades 11 and 12 and those who are getting a post-secondary education.

"In the summer months, donations are at their absolute lowest," Fortlage explained as he held Oswald's hand. "With the health minister donating blood, it means that I am getting the word out to more and more people."

Fortlage has recruited 27 people to donate blood this summer. He is up against a deadline of Sept. 1 to recruit the most people out of all students taking part in Assignment Saving Lives. Although his first time donating blood was on his 17th birthday, he was familiar with the importance of donating long before that.

"My mom has been bringing me to the centre every time she donates blood ever since I was three years old, so it's sort of been always a part of my life," he said. "I also had two aunts who went in for surgery for cancer and they both required blood transfusions, which sort of spurred me on and got me more involved with Canadian Blood Services."

Fortlage said if he wins a bursary, it will go towards the tuition he owes as a second-year student in the U of M's music education program.

The recruitment program takes place during the summer, but Canadian Blood Services looks for donors year-round.

"Across the country, only four per cent of the population donates," said Adrienne Silver, communications specialist for Canadian Blood Services. "We do have a number of very dedicated regular donors, and they need a little bit of a break, too."

Canadian Blood Services operates more than 20,000 donor clinics per year, nationwide. Anyone interested in donating can get more information by phoning 1-888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283).

kristy.hoffman@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 10, 2012 A2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

In the Key of Bart: Can’t It Be Nice This Time?

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JJOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-Postcard  Day-Horror frost and fog created a most beautiful setting at Assiniboine Park Thursday morning in WInnipeg- Enviroent Canada says the fog will lifet this morning and will see a high of -7C-  JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Feb 18, 2010
  • May 22, 2012 - 120522  - Westminster United Church photographed Tuesday May 22, 2012 .  John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Now that the snow is mostly gone, what are your plans?

View Results

Ads by Google