10-year-old Calgary girl battling cancer joins appeal for blood donations

WATCH: Canadian Blood Services is getting some new support in its annual appeal for donations heading into the holiday season. It's coming from the family of a young Calgarian eager to help others, after suddenly finding out just how crucial blood donations are. Gil Tucker reports.

The past couple of months have been tough for the Roy family of Calgary, and now they’re joining an effort to support an organization that’s played a big role in helping them get through the ordeal.

It began on Aug. 31, when Heather Roy took her 10-year-old daughter Evelyn to the Alberta Children’s Hospital, “for what we thought might be appendicitis,” Heather Roy said.

Several days of tests revealed that Evelyn had cancer, with a tumour the size of a grapefruit growing in her abdomen.

She required blood throughout the seven-and-a-half hour surgery to remove the tumour and she’ll continue to need blood as her treatment at the ACH continues.

“Chemo patients need to receive blood or platelets on a regular basis,” Roy said. “So we expect over the next 14 months of treatment, Evelyn’s going to need blood products on a regular basis.”


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Roy and her husband Mike are becoming regular blood donors starting Nov. 8, along with several naval reserve officers from the HMCS Tecumseh in Calgary.

They’re joining together at the Canadian Blood Services donor clinic at Calgary’s Eau Claire Market, hoping to boost donations in the period leading up to the holiday season.

It’s a time of year when blood services may face shortages, as long-time donors change their routines and may not be available for their regular appointments.


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“We’re not only supporting Evelyn,” Roy said. “We’re supporting an entire community of people.”

“I think it’s good to give blood,” Evelyn said, “because it’s very supportive and helpful for the other families who need it.”

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