Grade 12 students Stefanie Robb and Kate Straforelli from Brookswood Secondary, and Mya Ellis and Cassie Renaud from Langley Secondary schools organize a community blood drive on Dec. 17, 2020 at Church in the Valley. (Canada Blood Services/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Grade 12 students Stefanie Robb and Kate Straforelli from Brookswood Secondary, and Mya Ellis and Cassie Renaud from Langley Secondary schools organize a community blood drive on Dec. 17, 2020 at Church in the Valley. (Canada Blood Services/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Langley school rivals get competitive by giving back

Teens from Langley Secondary and Brookswood Secondary organize blood drive

These local rivals couldn’t wait for school sports to resume so they found a new way to get competitive and with it are helping Canadians in need.

Four friends at two Langley high schools are organizing a blood drive to inspire more youth to become regular blood donors.

Grade 12 students Mya Ellis and Cassie Renaud from Langley Secondary and Stefanie Robb and Kate Straforelli from Brookswood Secondary schools are hosting a blood drive on Dec. 17 at the Church in the Valley.

“At the beginning of the year I would usually go volunteer at the hospital, but since that program isn’t running right now because of COVID, I wanted to find a way I could still give back to the community,” 17-year-old Mya explained .

READ MORE: Aldergrove senior gives blood for 200th time, has ‘saved’ 600 lives

It was Mya’s mom, Lisa Ellis, vice-principal at Brookswood Secondary, who suggested the teen get some friends together to organize a blood drive, but first the group needed to experience giving blood before they could encourage others to do the same.

“Me and my friends went to see what it was like,” Mya said

The group donated blood for the first time on Nov. 21 and have since been encouraging others to do the same.

“I thought the needle was going to hurt, but it didn’t even hurt…. It’s so calm and so easy to do,” Mya recalled.

In fact, the group has turned the cause into a competition between both schools.

In the first of what they hope will be many drives hosted during the school-year, the teens are keeping track of how many donors are giving blood on Dec. 17 on behalf of each school.

“We made it a competition between the two schools [to see] who can get the most donors,” Mya said.

The schools were given unique Partners for Life (PFL) numbers from Canadian Blood Services so those donating can provide either number to help the schools keep track of the number of donors.

The PFL from Langley Secondary is LANG0091491 and for Brookswood Secondary is BROO0091522.

“Mya asked me which school I’ll be donating for but I’m not saying,” said Lisa, “What I will say is I’m proud of her and the kids at my school for taking this on.”

As of Thursday, there were 12 donors registered to give blood at Church in the Valley on Dec. 17 on behalf of Brookswood Secondary, and 16 donors on behalf of Langley Secondary, according to Mya.

And she wants to remind the public that Canada Blood Services offers appointments year-round and to donate whenever convenient.

Canadian Blood Services is calling on all eligible blood donors to respond to the immediate need to fill more than 15,000 open appointments across Canada over the holidays by Dec. 31.

“Not all connections can be virtual during COVID-19. We’re grateful to donors and frontline workers who have helped maintain an adequate level of blood products for patients since the onset of the pandemic. But the demand for blood never stops, even over the holidays,” said Rick Prinzen, Canadian Blood Services chief supply chain officer and vice-president of donor relations.

Donated blood lasts only 42 days but platelets that are commonly used to treat cancer patients have a short expiry of seven days, according to the organization.

Donor centres will be open on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, in addition to regularly scheduled operating hours.

For more information or to see availability of appointments visit https://myaccount.blood.ca/en/donate


@JotiGrewal_
joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

blood donorLangleyLangley School District

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The first tree – a Sitka spruce – in the second phase of Fort Langley’s Memory Grove was planted on the morning of Thursday, Jan. 21. (Kurt Alberts/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Second phase of Memory Grove planted at Fort Langley

The first trees started going into the ground on Thursday, Jan. 21

B.C. MInisterial Order 425 and the list of permitted exemptions to wearing face masks in retail businesses and other public spaces. (B.C. Government website)
LETTER: Langley newspaper criticized for doing story on maskless encounter

Local letter writer shares opinion on video of unmasked man in grocery store

Two schools in the Langley School District have reported COVID-19 exposures. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)
Two Langley schools added to COVID-19 exposure list

Public Health will only contact those who were exposed

Jessica Simpson speaking to Langley Township council as a delegate in 2019. (Township of Langley/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Health privacy breach claimed by controversial Langley woman

Jessica Simpson is suing Fraser Health over an alleged breach in her health info

Aaliyah Rosa. (Black Press Media file photo)
Langley child murder trial delayed until spring

It will be three months before testimony resumes

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Jan. 21 marks the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century, according to some. (Black Press Media file photo)
The 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century is upon us

Milestone won’t be back for another 100 years

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

Most Read