Jayden Lutz, a 20-year-old TWU student, is joining the plea for the public to give the gift of life this holiday season. Please donate blood, he begged. (Special to the Langley Advance)

B.C. student pleads for blood donors to step up

During the holiday season, Canadian Blood Services is begging for platelet and blood donations.

by Bailey Martens/Special to the Langley Advance

A young Langley photographer who credits his life to multiple blood transfusions is issuing a plea for donors to help out during the holidays.

Jayden Lutz, 20, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in September 2015. ALL is a type of blood cancer that does not allow for the production of healthy blood cells. Because the blood cells are not functional, donations of healthy blood cells are needed.

“The donations I received most definitely saved my life, because I was unable to produce healthy blood myself,” Lutz explained.

As a cancer patient, he also needed platelet transfusions. Following surgery, which resulted in uncontrolled bleeding, Lutz received a transfusion of platelets that stopped the bleeding.

He recognizes that “without the generosity of donors, and networks such as Canadian Blood Services, [He] would not have had the opportunity to get well.”

Lutz has been in remission since June 2016.

That’s why the Trinity Western University student joins Canadian Blood Services in pleading for the public to fill 35,000 blood donation appointments between now and Saturday, Jan. 6.

Holidays are undoubtedly a busy time, said Rick Prinzen, the Canadian Blood Services’ chief supply chain officer.

Shopping, turkey consumption, and caroling all increase during the holiday season.

Sadly, donations of blood do not, Prinzen added.

“We know that Canadians are busy with travel and activities over the holidays, and we hope that they will make time to save a life.”

Canadians everywhere rely on blood throughout the holidays. That’s why new and returning blood donors are encouraged to make a donation.

In addition to blood, platelet donations are in dire need, as Lutz attested. These donations help those whose blood does not clot, he explained. For instance, those donations are critical for those with blood disorders as well as current cancer patients.

Regular donations of platelets are vital as they are only usable for seven days following the donation, Prinzen said.

Inspired by Lutz story, Trinity Western University has partnered with the Canadian Blood Services to host regular blood drives on campus – in his honour. Students and the general public are invited to donate blood and platelets at Trinity Western University drives in the new year. In the meantime, Langleyites are asked to donate at one of several local clinics being held this holiday season.

Appointments can be made online at blood.ca, by phone at 1-888-236-6283, or by downloading the GiveBlood app. While appointments are encouraged, walk-ins are also welcome.

One of the local blood drives is set for Tuesday, Dec. 26, from 1 to 8 p.m. at the Church in the Valley, 23589 Old Yale Rd.

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