Tremendous! That's how Canadian Blood Services officials described support from Ursuline College students, St. Clair Catholic District School Board staff and the community at a blood donor clinic yesterday in honour of Jocelyn McGlynn. Jocelyn is a UCC graduate and former Student Trustee, who has been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Currently a medical science student at the University of Western Ontario, Jocelyn was diagnosed with AML in November. Since then friends, family, the St. Clair Catholic family and the entire Chatham-Kent community have rallied to support her with blood donor clinics and swab clinics for stem cell donations.
Neither of Jocelyn's two brothers are eligible to donate their stem cells for her treatment, as they are not a perfect match. At a blood donor clinic held in Chatham yesterday in honour of Jocelyn, 108 potential stem cell donors were registered and there were nearly 200 blood donations, which exceeded the target set by Canadian Blood Services.
"The need for blood is constant," says Marisa Gatfield of Canadian Blood Services. "Your support ensures we continue to help every patient, match every need and serve every Canadian. Every minute of every day, someone in Canada needs blood."
The Board has also donated the use of ten Chrome Books for use at blood donor clinics, so that people can register online to be a stem cell donor. It's easy to register. Anyone aged 17 to 35 can simply go to http:///www.blood.ca Once registered, a swab kit is mailed to you along with a self-addressed, postage paid envelope so that you can return the swab.
The McGlynn family is grateful for the support. Even if people are not a match for Jocelyn, there are many, many people battling this disease who desperately need donors.
"This support has kept me strong through my chemotherapy," says Jocelyn. "Thank you so much for considering becoming a stem cell donor. It means more than you will ever know!"
In the photos (top) the McGlynn family poses with students from Ursuline College who turned out to support the blood donor and swab clinic yesterday in Chatham; (right) Director of Education Deb Crawford, one of many St. Clair Catholic staff members who donated blood in support of Jocelyn.