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About Sickkids
About SickKids

June 14, 2016

Celebrating blood donors who are giving the gift of life

By Gemma Villanueva

June 14 is World Blood Donor Day, which draws attention to the need for consistent donation and honours all donors for their life-saving gifts of blood and blood products. SickKids is celebrating after earning the top spot in Canadian Blood Services’ Spring Hospital Blood Donation Challenge! First-time donors and regular donors across SickKids joined the challenge, which is a friendly competition among participating hospitals to boost donations and recruit new donors.

SickKids staff members donated 51 units of blood, 30 units more than the closest competitor. SickKids also had the highest number of first-time donors, as 11 staff members rolled up their sleeves to give blood for the first time. In total, the six participating hospitals collected more than 145 donations during the one-month challenge held in April.

“We would like to congratulate SickKids on winning this important challenge,” says Hailu Mulatu, Territory Manager of Donor Relations, Canadian Blood Services. “Thanks to all of the donors for their tremendous dedication and enthusiasm to help replenish the national blood supply.”

CBS Award Presentation with Hailu Mulatu, Michael Betel, and Marilyn Monk.
Hailu Mulatu, Territory Manager of Donor Relations – Downtown Toronto, Canadian Blood Services, and Michael Betel, Director of Donor Relations, Canadian Blood Services, presented Marilyn Monk, Executive Vice-President, Clinical Programs & Services at SickKids, with the trophy and certificate for SickKids’ earning the top spot in the Toronto Spring Hospital Blood Donation Challenge on June 10.

In honour of World Blood Donor Day, we tracked down three SickKids staff members who are regular donors and asked them why it’s important to give blood.

Erika Mann CBS Challenge selfie


Dr. Erika Mann, Staff Radiologist, Diagnostic Imaging
Number of times giving blood: #58 is coming up this month

“I’ve had close friends and family who have needed blood in emergency situations and you realize the impact that it makes. We are really fortunate there are regular donors as the need for blood never goes away. If you know you could make a difference, why wouldn’t you? I’m type O-positive and healthy, so I get calls to remind me to donate if I’m past the 56-day mark. My kids laugh and say ‘Mom, the vampires are on the phone again.’”

Ben Zhu


Ben Zhu, Clinical Research Project Coordinator
Number of times giving blood: #21 is coming up in July

“Giving blood is important, because many treatments would be impossible without a healthy blood supply. I’ve participated in one Hospital Challenge and I think it’s a good way of encouraging others to donate blood.


Kelly Warmington, Program Manager, Knowledge Translation, SickKids Learning Institute
Number of times giving blood: #40 is coming up this month

Kelly Warmington CBS Challenge selfie

“Donating blood has been a part of my routine since high school. It’s always been important to me, because my parents were avid donors and have since needed blood transfusions. My parents are here today thanks to the generosity and commitment of donors. And working at SickKids, I’m continually reminded of the constant need for blood donations. The impact really can’t be described. Ask any parent whose child has received blood products. Every donation has a story.”

In a typical year, SickKids provides around 26,000 units of blood products to our patients. These units come from Canadian Blood Services. A big thank you and congratulations to our staff members for their life-saving blood donations! SickKids is proud that you’re making a difference.

You can make a difference, too. Across Canada, every minute of every day someone needs blood. For more information about donating blood and blood products in your area, please visit www.blood.ca.