PEI

All aboard the Blood Vessel: P.E.I. woman launching blood donor bus

The "Blood Vessel" is a free bus service intended to bring people from Summerside to the Charlottetown Canadian Blood Services donation centre. Rachel Reeves, the service's founder, wanted to fill a gap she saw for people in western P.E.I.

'Hey, hop on the bus, we're going to go down and donate some blood'

Rachel Reeves, founder of the Blood Vessel, says the goal is to make donating extremely easy. (Submitted by Rachel Reeves)

A Summerside woman is hoping to improve blood donation from western P.E.I. by the busload.

The "Blood Vessel" is a free bus service intended to bring people from Summerside to the Charlottetown Canadian Blood Services donation centre.

Rachel Reeves, the service's founder, wanted to fill a gap for people trying to donate blood.

"It's so important," says Reeves. "And especially here in western P.E.I. it's so easy to just kind of forget about it because we don't have a donation centre."

Reeves is a medical laboratory assistant and in January she began her business Reeves Laboratory Service — which provides a range of medical services, such as blood collection.

She said quite a few people visited her lab and told her they had never thought of being a donor, and she saw a need to be filled.

'Hop on the bus'

The goal is to make donating extremely easy, she said.

The Blood Vessel is planned to take people from Summerside to the Charlottetown Canadian Blood Services donation centre every four months, starting on September 12. (Submitted by Rachel Reeves)

Reeves wants to be able to say, in her words, "Hey, hop on the bus, we're going to go down and donate some blood and come on back."

But she also wants it to be fun.

She plans to host medical-themed trivia on the drive to Charlottetown and sell 50/50 tickets to help cover part of the service's costs.

Wedge Tours, a P.E.I. bus company, has offered her a discount on a 15-passenger vehicle to start the service. Reeves has also received donations from local businesses, but most of the money will be coming out of her pocket.

Rachel Reeves says she's heard from many patients at her laboratory service that they've never thought of being a donor. (Ryan Remiorz / The Canadian Press)

And with the response she's heard back so far, Reeves may soon need a bigger bus — which she said "is an awesome problem to have."

The first bus is scheduled to drive to Charlottetown in the evening on Sept. 12, and Reeves plans to have a bus run once every four months.

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Corrections

  • A previous version of this story stated Wedge Tours was offering the bus free of charge. In fact, the company is offering a discount.
    Jul 25, 2019 9:50 AM AT

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