The untimely death of Ponoka student Taylor Leverick (left) in 2015 caused the family to create a blood drive called Taylor’s Drive. The endeavour has so far helped collect 543 units of blood. It also highlights the need for more blood to be donated to Canadian Blood Services. In this photo Leverick is with his brother Thomas. Photo submitted

Taylor’s Drive highlights the need for more donated blood

Canadian Blood Services facing a shortage, urgent calls to donate blood

The second anniversary of the untimely death of Ponoka student Taylor Leverick is something that his family is all too aware of.

The one thing the family is grateful for is having closure. This was made possible by the fact that Leverick was kept alive using donated blood, explained Taylor’s aunt, Shelley McFadden.

The family was so grateful they created Taylor’s Drive, a blood drive with Canadian Blood Services (CBS). In recent months CBS has found a major shortage of blood and the hope is by highlighting stories like this, it will give the organization much needed blood. The response from news media and other organizations has been positive.

“It has been very exciting, but hard on the family to relive it all,” explained McFadden.

Since they started their blood drive they have helped bring in 543 units of blood. For McFadden, this is a step in the right direction for CBS.

“That’s amazing and there’s been the odd few that donated who didn’t do it at Taylor’s Drive,” she said.

The significance of donating blood cannot be understated.

When Leverick was in the accident, he lost a significant amount of blood. Along with STARS Air Ambulance crews giving blood transfusions, Leverick also received 57 units of blood during surgery.

“That gave him a chance and we were all able to be there,” said McFadden.

“The family got to say goodbye. We are just so thankful to those who gave blood.”

For her part, the selfless act of giving blood has greater implications in the world of saving lives. Along with the blood units, medical staff can utilize the plasma from the blood and more.

McFadden’s hope is that the blood drive will help save someone’s life and create a more positive outcome for others. She points out that most people don’t think they or someone they know will not need blood, but she feels it’s a question of ‘when’ not ‘if.’

For CBS, there is an urgent need to receive more blood.

There’s many ways to donate. Visit blood.ca to find out how, or when a clinic is coming soon to your area. For Ponoka, the next clinic is set up for March 26 at the Kinsmen Community Centre.

 

Family of Taylor Leverick honour his memory by donating blood. This photo shows his uncle Brian McFadden with daughter Kate and brother Thomas posing during a day of donating blood to Canadian Blood Services. Photo submitted

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