British Columbia

2-year-old blood recipient thanks 400 time blood donor

Sophie Cosgrave — a recipient of blood donations — along with her family, was given the chance to thank a 400 times blood donor for his many donations, some of which went to Sophie when she needed them.

Donations made helped in time of need

Sophie Cosgrave and family thank John C. Lee and the many blood donors within the clinic as well. (Huyana Cyprien/CBC)

Sophie Cosgrave — a recipient of blood donations — along with her family, was given the chance to thank a 400 time blood donor for his many donations, some of which went to Sophie when she needed them.

In January of 2018, Maura and Alen Cosgrave's daughter, Sophie, was diagnosed with leukemia. Shocking and sudden as it was, it also shocked the family to realize the amount of blood Sophie required during the five months of intensive chemotherapy and many blood transfusions. 

Roughly, 26 blood transfusions.

"We had no idea that leukemia meant you really need blood from other people," said Maura Cosgrave. 

"It's absolutely essential to fighting the disease and just coming out on the other end, we're just really grateful."

Sophie — now two-years-old — is in remission and was able to thank one of her many blood donors.

John C. Lee has donated blood over 400 times. 

He started donating blood back in the '70s when he was a student at the University of British Columbia. He responded to a call that was looking for young healthy people to donate blood and thought why not.

The Cosgrave family gives John C. Lee the Honour to Recognize certificate. (Huyana Cyprien (CBC/News))

At the Canadian Blood Services (CBS) clinic in Vancouver, Lee was able to meet one of his blood donation recipients. 

"The process by its nature is somewhat clinical. You donate, it's mechanical. You know it's doing good, but you're separate and apart from where you know it's going," said Lee. 

"To meet a recipient — to know who it's been meaningful to — is extraordinarily special."

Lee was given the Honour to Recognize certificate from the Cosgrave family to show its appreciation for the many blood donations he has made to CBS. 

Reasons

Canadian Blood Services started a campaign called Reasons that allows donors and recipients to tell their stories about why they donate and why they think donating is important.

"The story today between Sophie and John is exactly that. It's donors like John, who started for his own reason, helping a patient like Sophie to not only have another day but have a life as a young girl," said David Patterson, director of donor relations, Canadian Blood Services.

People can help Canadian Blood Services by donating blood, volunteering their time or encouraging others to donate blood. (Waubgeshig Rice/CBC)

According to CBS, over 100,000 new blood donors are needed in Canada to maintain the national blood supply and meet the needs of patients who require blood transfusions.

People who are not able to donate blood can contribute to the CBS by volunteering their time or encouraging others to donate blood. 

National Blood Donor Week runs from June 10 to 16, with World Blood Donor day on Friday, June 14. 
 

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