U of L wins national blood donation challenge

By Geoff Smith (@GeoffSmithLNN on Twitter)
October 3, 2018 - 12:03pm

LETHBRIDGE – Kate Potts knows better than most people how important blood donations are.

When she was just four years old, she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, rare in children and extremely aggressive. Her parents chose a new protocol for treatment, raising her long-term survival chances from 25 to 50 per cent in the first round of chemotherapy.

“(It’s) absolutely amazing that I’m here today. I thank my parents every day that they opted for that,” Potts, now a human resources student at the University of Lethbridge, told reporters.

On Wednesday, Oct. 3, Potts took part in a presentation at the University of Lethbridge, acknowledging its victory in the Canadian University and College Blood Donor Challenge for the 2017-18 academic year. The school contributed 592 units of blood during that time, generating 92 new donors, a higher per capita result than any of the other 21 schools that take part.

“I know that it’s a bit scary with needles for young people, perhaps, but it’s really the easiest way to save lives, and so I’m very proud of them,” Nancy Walker, vice-president of finance and administration, said at the presentation.

Walker herself had made a donation a day earlier and was told by the nurses how much the support from the university and Lethbridge College is appreciated.

Potts appreciates that support as well. She speaks on Canadian Blood Services’ behalf as a recipient. She’s also president of the campus Lifesavers Club.

“Through my treatment, I had four intense rounds of chemotherapy and over 60 blood transfusions, and without that blood I wouldn’t be here today,” she said. “(I’m) constantly thankful for all the blood donors out there.

“And people who haven’t donated blood yet: it can definitely save a life.”

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