Curling team organizes blood drive to help save lives

Curling team organizes blood drive to help save lives

Team Wark has teamed up with Canadian Blood Services to bring in much-needed units of blood

Blood and sports sometimes go hand-in-hand, but not so much with curling — until now.

A group of four curlers is teaming up with Canadian Blood Services (CBS) and organizing a blood drive to help bring in some much-needed donations leading up to, and during, the busy holiday season. They’re hoping eligible donors in Chilliwack will join them in donating blood on Nov. 20 and beyond.

Michelle Dunn — lead with Team Wark, a Chilliwack-based women’s curling team — works in the lab at Chilliwack General Hospital (CGH) where she deals directly with CBS and patients in need of blood.

“I’m the one who finds out what blood group the patients are and finds something that’s compatible to give them,” says Dunn, medical laboratory technologist at CGH. “We have a standing order based on our numbers, population, and what our need is.”

Although CGH gets blood three times a week from CBS, Dunn often notices there’s a shortage of units. She sees firsthand CBS’s need for more blood. Tragedies happen and there can always be a sudden need for more blood on top of their regular supply.

“This summer, we had a huge problem with O-negative — if I ordered 10 O-negs, they would send me three,” says Dunn.

Unfortunately, lower blood donations are common in the summer months of July and August, and the weeks around Christmastime. It’s a double whammy for CBS as these three months bring in the fewest donations, yet the need for blood is the greatest. People are often away visiting family and friends during these months so they’re unable to donate, plus there are more vehicles on the roads resulting in more crashes. It can take up to 50 donors to save the life of one car crash victim.

Dunn says this summer she transfused one patient 30 units of O-negative blood, and the following week CBS sent CGH fewer O-neg units that it normally receives.

“That’s how you see the need. It’s not unheard of to give that many units of blood [to one patient],” says Dunn.

In an attempt to up the number of blood donations this holiday season, Team Wark has decided to donate blood on Nov. 20.

Dunn, along with skip Sarah Wark (Chilliwack), sisters Kristen Pilote (Squamish) and Jen Rusnell (Prince George), and coaches Jock Tyre and Jeff Richard (Kelowna) are busy recruiting donors while at the same time competing in tournaments in hopes of making it to nationals.

“We travel on the world curling tour as well, and we do get TV exposure… so we think this is a different way of approaching it,” says Dunn.

They are currently training for the Curl BC provincials where, if they win, they go on to represent B.C. in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts — the annual Canadian women’s curling championship.

Team Wark will be wearing jackets with the CBS logo on them, and with games that last two and a half hours, that’s a lot of TV exposure for CBS.

The team is also using social media to spread the word, and in addition, CBS staff will be in attendance at the tournaments to inform the public of the need for blood.

“My plan is to get as many curlers to go and donate blood in the communities that we are: Chilliwack and Kelowna mostly, but of course through the province,” says Dunn.

You can join Team Wark and donate blood during their blood drive, which kicks off Nov. 20 and goes until the new year.

Blood donor clinic dates in Chilliwack are: Monday, Nov. 20 at Tzeachten Hall (45855 Promontory Rd.), Monday, Dec. 4 at Neighbourhood Learning Centre (46361 Yale Rd.), Monday, Dec. 18 at Tzeachten, Friday, Dec. 22 at Tzeachten, and Monday, Jan. 1 at Neighbourhood Learning Centre. All Monday clinics run from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m., and the Friday clinic goes from noon to 6 p.m.

To make an appointment, call 1-888-2-Donate, or go to blood.ca. Or, you can message Team Wark at teamwarkcurling@gmail.com to book your appointment.

Follow the team on Facebook and Twitter by doing a search for ‘Team Wark Curling.’


 

@PhotoJennalism
jenna.hauck@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP looking for missing 20-year-old woman

Police say Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months

(Maps.Chilliwack.com)
RCMP seek dash-cam footage after Chilliwack road rage incident

Male driving a black pickup stopped and allegedly threatened to punch another driver

Deepak Sharma of Abbotsford has been convicted of the sexual assault of one of his cab passengers in West Vancouver in January 2019.
Former Abbotsford Hindu temple president convicted of sexual assault

Deepak Sharma assaulted a female passenger when he was a cab driver

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Agassiz toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Woody’s RV World hosts a grand opening for its brand-new Abbotsford location on Saturday. (YouTube)
Woody’s RV World hosts Abbotsford grand opening on Saturday

First-ever B.C. location for successful RV chain, located on Marshall Road

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctors urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Most Read