Saskatoon

OHL goalie first recipient of the Dayna Brons Honorary Award

Goaltender Jacob Ingham of the Mississauga Steelheads is the first recipient of the Dayna Brons Honorary Award.

Serious accident leads young man to help generate blood donations

Mississauga Steelheads goaltender Jacob Ingham (right) is the first recipient of the Dayna Brons Honourary Award given out by Hockey Gives Blood. (Dhiren Mahiban/The Canadian Press)

Giving blood was not something Jacob Ingham had ever thought about when he was younger.

Then his grandparents were involved in a serious car crash last August that sent them both to hospital and in need of blood.

They were returning to their Winnipeg home from visiting Ingham, a young goalie with the Mississauga Steelheads of the Ontario Hockey League, when they were involved in a crash near Marathon, Ont. Ingham's grandmother suffered numerous fractures.

"She had a compound fracture of her femur so she was bleeding out like crazy," Ingham said. "So she needed a lot of blood to even just pull through."

That made the family think about how they could do to help.

The winner of the Dayna Brons Honorary Award was announced Monday night. (Omayra Issa/CBC)

Ingham, who was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings, decided to donate $4 for every save he made for the first 50 games of the season to Canadian Blood Services and Hockey Gives Blood, an organization formed in the wake of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash to reduce blood shortages nationwide.

He was able to give a cheque for $5,600.

For his efforts Ingham was named the first recipient of the Dayna Brons Honorary Award.

The award recognises a member of Canada's hockey community who is dedicated to giving blood and stem cell products.

It is named after Brons, the Humboldt Broncos' athletic therapist, who was one of 16 people killed when the team bus crashed into a semi trailer in rural Saskatchewan on April 6, 2018.

"(Ingham) wasn't doing it for accolades, he was just doing it because it was the right thing to do," said Stu Middleton, one of the founders of Hockey Gives Blood, on why Ingham was given the award. "We think he perfectly represents who Dayna was and who a blood donor is in Canada."

Ingham, who will turn 19 next week, has also started to give blood on a regular basis.

"It's great to kind of see first-hand how you can really  help and it really can make a difference," he said.

"You don't really think to give blood or anything like that until something happens to you first-hand and you realize that you know, my grandma needed I think nine pints of blood to live."

Ingham received the award Monday night in his hometown of Barrie, Ont., at a Canadian Blood Services event honouring long-time blood donors.

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