Transfusion Recipient Thanks Donors

John Brent at the Canadian Blood Services Honouring Our LifeBlood event, June 12, 2017. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

After receiving hundreds of units of blood and undergoing a bone marrow transplant, 25-year-old cancer survivor John Brent knows how important it is for people to donate blood.

But Monday night he didn’t have to tell that to the crowd at the Canadian Blood Services event to honour life-long donors.

“Rather than going out and recruiting as I’m often used to do, I just get to say thanks. I get to provide a happy face to the end of the rainbow or a face to a success story,” says Brent.

Brent was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of 3. He underwent treatment for three years receiving blood donations throughout. When he relapsed a short time after, he also received a bone marrow transplant.

He says he has had many complications and setbacks since that time, but he is able to live a normal life thanks in part to the many people who donate blood on a regular basis.

“We have a certain group of loyal blood donors in Ontario and in Canada, overall, it’s dwindling. We have an ageing donor base and an increasing need. You have no idea how many situations there are that need blood,” says Brent.

Approximately 250 blood donors and volunteers were honoured at the Canadian Blood Services Honouring Our LifeBlood event at the Fogolar Furlan Club Monday night.