Your blood or plasma donation will make all the difference in someone’s life in your community

By Michael Belviso

Patients need new and returning donors to give lifesaving blood and plasma. The need for blood is constant. Your blood donation could help someone right here in your community — a cancer patient, accident victim, or a person or baby during childbirth.

Plasma donation is another powerful way to help patients. Plasma is the largest part of your blood — 55 percent of your blood is plasma — and the need for plasma is growing. Donated plasma is made into lifesaving medications for patients in Canada with rare, life-threatening, chronic conditions.

Both blood and plasma donors are essential to meet the needs of patients.

You can donate blood at the Canadian Blood Services donor centre in Richmond Hill at Hillcrest Mall, 9350 Yonge St. For those wishing to donate plasma, the Canadian Blood Services plasma donor centre is in Vaughan at Piazza Del Sole, 200 Windflower Gate.

Act now and book your blood or plasma donation by downloading the GiveBlood app, calling 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283) or booking now at: www,

If your blood type is O-negative, please visit the Richmond Hill donor centre to donate blood regularly. If you have O-negative blood, you are known as a universal donor. Your donation can be given to any patient, regardless of blood type. In emergencies when there is no time to confirm a patient’s blood type, O-negative blood can mean the difference between life and death.

Every person is tested as part of the donation process to identify exactly which blood type they belong to. Book your appointment to donate and find out.

Blood and plasma donor screening criteria is always reviewed and updated. You may be eligible to donate now, even if you weren’t before.

You can find more information about this historic change along with other recent changes in eligibility criteria on:

If you’re already a donor, or you aren’t able to donate, you can make all the difference by encouraging others to book an appointment. It takes donors of all kinds to keep Canada’s Lifeline strong.

If you’re between 17 and 35, you can register as a potential stem cell donor on Canadian Blood Services Stem Cell Registry. Over 75 percent of patients can’t find a stem cell match within their family and must rely on a volunteer donor.

You can also register your intent to donate your organs and tissues, volunteer your time, or make a financial donation.

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Michael Belviso is the business development manager at the Canadian Blood Services plasma donor centre in Vaughan.