Straight from the heart… to save lives !

Saint-Laurent, September 10, 2002 - HÉMA-QUÉBEC is proud to announce that for its last blood drive of the summer campaign, hosted by the Alouettes football team of Montréal, almost 75,000 Quebeckers gave the gift of life, with 5,402 people giving blood for the first time. Between June 10 and September 8, 2002, a crucial period for maintaining blood reserve levels, HÉMA-QUÉBEC organized 459 clinics throughout Québec.

Extraordinary cooperation and motivation
Summer is one of the most difficult seasons when it comes to motivating Quebeckers to give blood and recruiting volunteers for mobile clinics is also more difficult. HÉMA-QUÉBEC was able to make the most of the close cooperation of several recipients who spent the summer publicly testifying about the importance of giving blood to save lives. Hundreds of volunteers also worked to support this cause.

On the sad anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2002, HÉMA-QUÉBEC would specifically like to stress the commitment of all the Québec firefighters, police officers and ambulance attendants who took part in organizing numerous blood donor clinics. In the words of Jean Furois, who received 27 transfusions following a bicycle accident, "These men and women have demanding jobs. Thanks to their quick response at accident scenes and their good judgment, they manage to save lives. They know how important giving blood is and they don't hesitate to help us in our awareness raising initiatives."

HÉMA-QUÉBEC would also like to honour all of the Quebeckers who, starting the day after the events of September 11, 2001, went to blood clinics and waited there patiently, for several hours, until they could be received. Last year, in the 10 days following the tragedy, approximately 8,000 Quebeckers gave their time and blood to aid those who survived the attacks.

"Our mission is to be prepared to deal with any situation. But, above and beyond tragedies, there is a daily need for blood products. Every day hundreds of people depend on them," said Dr. Francine Décary, Executive Director, HÉMA-QUÉBEC. She added, "From a single blood donation, we can extract red blood cells to treat victims of traffic accidents, plasma to treat serious burn victims, and platelets, a coagulation product, to stop hemorrhaging."

HÉMA-QUÉBEC's mission is to provide Quebeckers with sufficient quantities of safe, top-quality blood components, derivatives and blood substitutes to meet the needs of hospitals and to provide and develop expertise and services, along with specialized, novel products, in the fields of transfusion medicine and tissue transplantation.