1st Edition of National Blood Donor Week - A Terrific Sharing Chain!

    MONTREAL, June 9 /CNW Telbec/ -
    I never thought that I would receive blood in my lifetime. However, this
    is what happened this past December when I was rushed to the hospital.
    The doctor then told me that I would need a blood transfusion quickly.
    This is when I came to realize more fully the importance of any blood
    donor's action. These people give so generously nothing less than life.
    Thank you for this act of a great kindness."

    Pierre Lamonde, Québec City

    Pierre Lamonde shared this testimonial as part of the first National
Blood Donor Week, taking place from June 9-15, because as he puts it, he is
still alive thanks to donors, whose blood was available for him when he needed
it most.
    "Blood donation relies entirely on the generosity of people willing to
share their most precious possession: their health. Each year, some
80 000 patients receive blood products in Québec. National Blood Donor Week is
the ideal occasion to encourage people to give blood regularly. We have to
keep reminding them that blood is needed every day and that giving blood is
the easiest way of saving lives," added Dr. Francine Décary, President and
Chief Executive Officer of Héma-Québec.
    This national week will set the tone for World Blood Donor Day,
celebrated on June 14 in more than 80 countries around the world, and is part
of World Blood Donor Day, which is themed Many Happy Returns, Give Blood
Frequently to remind everyone how important and convenient giving blood
products is. It is the perfect occasion to pay homage to blood, plasma and
platelet donors as well as volunteers for their generosity, profound sense of
civic responsibility and their commitment to blood donation.
    "The need for blood is constant and the blood supply is a daily challenge
to maintain the collective reserve managed by Héma-Québec for Québec's
hospitals and their patients. It goes without saying that we are lucky, here
in Québec, to be able to rely on a terrific network of devoted partners,
volunteers, donors and employees who make blood transfusions possible,"
continued Dr. Décary.
    Héma-Québec will be highlighting in various ways this first edition of
National Blood Donor Week, decreed by the Parliament of Canada last February,
among others by paying homage to all those who work for the cause in Québec.
Members of the National Assembly will participate in this very special week
through a special motion introduced on June 11 by Minister of Health and
Social Services Philippe Couillard. Moreover, a major awareness campaign will
be launched all over Québec.

    About Héma-Québec

    Héma-Québec's mission is to efficiently provide adequate quantities of
safe, optimal blood components, substitutes, human tissues and cord blood to
meet the needs of all Quebecers; provide and develop expertise along with
specialized and innovative services and products in the fields of transfusion
medicine and human tissue transplantation.
    Héma-Québec is close to 1,300 employees, some 2,000 days of blood drives
and close to 300,000 blood donors each year, 16,000 volunteer partners and
more than 450,000 blood products delivered each year to Québec hospitals to
meet patients' needs.

    Give blood. Give life.

For further information:

For further information: and interviews: Marie Morneau, Marie Morneau
Communications, (418) 580-1994, marie@mariemorneau.com; Valérie Legault,
Héma-Québec, (514) 832-0871, valerie.legault@hema-quebec.qc.ca; Source:
Laurent Paul Ménard, Communications Director

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