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Trent University saves lives through blood donations

President Leo Groarke attends Trent’s Blood Drive

Over the years Trent university, the largest Partner for Life in the Peterborough area, has helped save thousands of lives by collecting thousand of units of blood. Partners for Life is a Canadian Blood Services program that makes it easy to donate blood as a team. Trent University and Canadian Blood Services together celebrated the power that everyone has in them to buy time, and give life to others during an event which was hosted by Trent University on 4 November 2015.

Stem cell donors Audrey Massender and Eddie Delaney gifted Elsa Norton and her mother Nadine Norton with life. This was an event that awakened emotions of compassion, and gratitude. .  Also present was Kim and Mike Smyth, parents of the late David Smyth, a Trent student who was lost to leukemia at age 20 in 2010 due to a failure in finding  a match for his bone marrow transplant.

Michael Betel, Canadian Blood Services Director of Donor Relations,  Dr. Leo Groarke President of Trent University, volunteers, and supporters also joined to encourage everyone, and evoke in everyone the innate will to save life.The guest of honour was only six years old. Looking at her, anyone would think that she is like any other kid her age.

However Elsa Norton’s life has been, and continues to be, unlike others in so many ways, says mother Nadine Norton. Elsa came into this world with a defective bone marrow that made her unable to produce normal counts of blood platelets, the cells that allow blood to clot.

At only 15 months of age she received her bone marrow transplant from a young lady in Germany, a match that was found through stem cell registry. Young Elsa just celebrated her five year anniversary on the 16th of October as a survivor of stem cell recipient.

“She is a happy little girl, goes to school with her peers, and she is full of life. Elsa is alive today because of countless people who donated blood and volunteered to help the process of Canadian blood
services,” sincerely expressed Nadine Norton.

“We can never repay you for what you have done, and are doing. From the bottom of our heart please accept our thanks and gratitude,” Nadine poured out her heart.

“I would like to challenge everyone to donate blood for their first time, or again,” she added. Talking to Arthur, one of the stem cell donors present, Audrey Massender, a 21- year- old Trent student who is in her third year of nursing program stated, “anybody who goes in the database has a potential to save someone’s life, but to know that I was able to actually be a part of that was great.”

The main question that so many people have, according to her is, “did it hurt?” She said, “Yes, it did hurt, but it was completely worth it, and any pain I felt was only temporary.”

“You are giving someone time to love, time to make memories, and time to grow,” she expressed.  Massender had only been on the stem cell registry for four weeks when she was found to be a match.

Eddie Delaney, a 24- year- old Trent alumni who graduated from Trent teachers’ college, had been on the stem cell registry for about four years till he was found to be a match and donated his stem cells in 2014.
Trent University has committed to collecting 450 units of blood this year.

Trent is to host two great events, a blood donor clinic on Friday, November 13 at the Trent Athletic Complex, Gym from 12PM to 3PM. As well, OneMatch Clinic on Thursday, November 19 at Otonabee
College Commons from 10 AM to 2 PM.

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