first posted July 2 2014

Last year  I was involved in a Fundraiser for Gerdine Graham  Foundation, a fundraiser for Leukemia And we will be doing it  again on March 18, 2016.

My original post  was regarding letting individuals know about the importance of giving blood. Especially at a time when popular Reggae artist J Capri was in urgent need of  blood. 

 J Capri Lost her battle and passed away December 3, 2015,  my prayers are with her  Family AND friends. 

Awareness regarding the importance of donating blood has not been covered well within the Caribbean, and other ethnically diverse Communities.     As your advocate,  I felt it necessary to bring you up to speed on the facts about donating blood. DID YOU KNOW  that there are over 80 diseases that require Blood and stem cells? The goal is to reach  out to our  community  and get you all  involved in a vital process that is needed to help  individuals who require Blood.  I want you to  spread the word about donating blood. What greater gift is there than the gift of life? That’s exactly what every blood donation delivers. Blood and blood products are a critical part of everyday medical care including major surgeries, medical procedures, cancer treatments and managing disease. You can go one step further along with donating blood. You can also  get involved in a critical life-saving initiative called One match.  One match helps individuals that require Stem cell transplants, A variety of diseases and disorders are treated with stem cell transplants, including blood-related diseases such as leukemia, aplastic anemia, and inherited immune system and metabolic disorders  

Leukemia is a cancer of the marrow and blood. There are four main subtypes of leukemia: acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and chronic myeloid leukemia.
Lymphoma is the name for a group of blood cancers that develop in the lymphatic system. The two main types are Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).  As cited by Leukemia and Lymphoma society. The causes of Leukemia are unknown to medical science at this time. Some people are at greater risk of developing Leukemia than others.  For the most part,  I suggest routine check ups with your Doctor and you should  always take  notice  to  abnormal symptoms in your body that you may feel.  I  encourage everyone at the very least to know what their blood type is.
Quick Fact Everyone has two genes that determine their blood type, it’s passed on from parents to children, just like eye colour. O Negative blood is used in emergency situations, where there is no time to test the patient to determine blood type – that’s why “O Neg” is always in such great demand
People with AB Positive blood are know as the “universal recipient”, as they can receive blood from anyone as cited by Canadian Blood Services.
One Match is an  Initiative that is vital to helping save lives especially for  those with Leukemia. You may be eligible to join if you are between 17 and 35 years old and meet certain health criteria. Because a person's best chance of finding a matching donor is within his or her own ethnic group, it is important that donors reflect Canada's ethnic diversity. It is also important for the future of OneMatch to attract young donors.  However  there are some health problems that could make you ineligible include some heart conditions, cancer, blood diseases, insulin-dependent diabetes, and infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS or hepatitis B and C. There are also height and weight restrictions in place to protect both donors and recipients. People who do not meet the program's height and weight criteria may be at a higher risk when undergoing surgery.  One match is done very simply by swabbing the inside of your cheeks and if you are a match you will be registered to be a donor by the Canadian Blood Services.

I am updating this blog with news about  Davey and the upcoming Gerdine Graham  Leukemia fundraiser. 


 Davey was diagnosed with a rare form of Cancer in October. Adult T-Cell Leukemia Lymphoma, stage 4. This cancer is generally not responsive to chemotherapy or radiation. It is also extremely aggressive. It is in all his lymphs, blood and his cerebral and spinal fluid. We are in a race against time to find Davey a match. Currently Davey is receiving weekly chemo treatments in order to keep this cancer at bay long enough so that we can find him a match and he can have the life saving transplant he needs!Unfortunately there are less than .02% Caribbean people on the registry globally.  

What greater gift is there than the gift of life? That’s exactly what every blood donation delivers. Blood and blood products are a critical part of everyday medical care including major surgeries, medical procedures, cancer treatments and managing disease.

Take a look at how easy One Match can be.

Every Blood Component Has a Job To Do

Whole blood is made of several components that can be transfused separately or together to treat various conditions:
  • Red blood cells carry oxygen to tissues and remove carbon dioxide throughout the lungs.
  • White blood cells protect the body from infection. (They also, however, can carry viruses and bacteria—which is why they are removed from donated blood.)
  • Platelets provide the basis for clotting, which helps control bleeding.
  • Plasma is a liquid containing proteins that help fight infection and assist clotting. Plasma distributes nutrients to tissues and transports waste products to the lungs, liver and kidneys.

Regardless of type, blood is always in high demand for cancer patients, accident victims, Sickle Cell patients and transplant recipients

This has been your health buzz with Michelle Smith your health and social advocate.I can be reached by email

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