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

Undated Google photo of Safeway (20871 Fraser Hwy.).
Safeway, FreshCo, Shoppers and three Langley schools record COVID-19 cases

Two COVID-positive staff reported at same Safeway within days

Google Maps screenshot taken at 7:30 a.m.
TRAFFIC: Westbound Highway 1 crash blocking left lane in Langley

Incident at 264th Street slowing morning commuters

Aldergrove legion branch #265. (Aldergrove Star files)
Final phase of $14 million federal support fund rolls out to legion branches

Branches still reeling from pandemic receive remaining $3.8 million in emergency funds

Italian flat leaf parsley can be used in pesto, replacing fresh basil. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
ON COOKING: Chef Dez does parsley pesto

Pesto traditionally has fresh basil but it can also be made with another fresh herb

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

The majority of city council votes in favour of this design for a new Salmon Arm flag on Monday, May 10, 2021. (City of Salmon Arm image)
Time for a change: Salmon Arm’s ‘corporate’ city flag is on the way out

Two councillors raise concerns about logo being too corporate for a flag

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau receives his COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccination in Ottawa, Friday, April 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
75% of Canadians need 1st vaccine dose to have more normal summer: Trudeau

The country is on track to hit a major milestone on the road to COVID-19 herd immunity Tuesday, with 40% vaccinated with a 1st dose

A black bear, dubbed Huckleberry by Deep Cove, B.C., residents died on July 31, 2020, after becoming conditioned to food and humans. (North Shore Black Bear Society photo)
Fewer dead bears, more fines: Advocates call for B.C. conservation officer reform

B.C. Bear Alliance wants body to see cameras on conservation officers after more than 600 black bears were killed this past year

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

Minister of Health Patty Hajdu responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Drug users were shut out of Vancouver’s decriminalization proposal, critics say, demanding redo

The coalition is asking the city to raise the proposed drug thresholds from a 3-day supply

David and Julie Kaplan with their children Estelle and Justin. (Special to The News)
COVID-19 border closure stops B.C. family’s cross-country move

Maple Ridge couple, two kids, turned away at New Brunswick border

Kelowna RCMP precinct. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna RCMP reviewing rough arrest after video shared on social media

The video shows an officer punching a man while arresting him for allegedly driving a stolen car

Michael Bublé in video posted to Arts Club Theatre Company’s Youtube channel.
VIDEO: Arts Club alum Michael Bublé backs theatre company’s re-opening campaign

Pandemic has caused 15 months of suspended operations for Arts Club, founded in 1964

Most Read