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New Brunswick father-daughter duo share their story in hopes people donate blood

Click to play video: 'N.B. man shares story in hopes of inspiring others to donate blood'
N.B. man shares story in hopes of inspiring others to donate blood
The summer months are the most challenging for blood donations because of vacations and missed appointments. But a New Brunswick man is calling on people to step up, after others helped save his life. Suzanne Lapointe reports – Jun 13, 2024

The summer months are the most challenging for blood donations — because people tend to go on vacations and miss appointments, or perhaps it’s not as top of mind as during the holiday season.

But a New Brunswick man is sharing his story, in hopes it will inspire others to step up just like those who helped save his life.

“I am very happy,” said Gary Peters.

Peters is grateful for his health and the extra years he will get to spend doting on his grandson. For 30 years, his kidney had been slowly degenerating due to a disease called glomerulonephritis, which is damage to the filtering part of the kidneys.

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“I was down to eight per cent (kidney function) and it was slowly going down,” he explained.

He relied on dialysis for three years before getting the call he would be receiving a kidney transplant.

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“It was hard going on dialysis. Anybody doing it, it’s a hard time and it’s every second day,” he said.

During his surgery, he required two bags of blood, as his surgeon suspected he had internal bleeding. Both his daughter and his wife work for Canadian Blood Services in Moncton — so everyone in the family knows the importance of blood donation first-hand.

“A lot of people that give blood … may not have a connection to it. So there’s a lot of people out there who are just doing something so generous for a complete stranger,” said his daughter Brandy Peters.

“But for me, on the opposite end, having a family member who’s been so greatly impacted, I think that connection is just so much stronger now.”

She adds donations are needed more than ever during the summer months, with 350 open appointments for the month of June at the Moncton clinic.

“We need to recruit over 100,000 new people every year just to maintain patient need,” she said.

“Less than two per cent of people give blood. So we know that 50 per cent are eligible. And we’re really asking those people who’ve never done it to please come forward.”

— with a file from Global News’ Rebecca Lau 

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