Laurier athletes participate in blood drive

Members of Laurier’s men’s baseball, men’s football and men’s rugby teams, along with the women’s rugby and women’s lacrosse teams, were among the 122 donors at a two-day blood donor clinic this weekend in memory of Gavin “Superhero” Shaw.

The five-year-old passed away Nov. 13, 2009 after a hard-fought battle with two extremely rare types of cancer – Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH) and Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH); the conditions have 1 in 200,000 and 1 in 500,000-1,000,000 odds respectively.
Kylie Masur, a third-year kinesiology student and student athletic trainer, along with six other volunteers, organized their fifth blood drive in correspondence with Canadian Blood Services.

“Gavin’s really close to our family,” said Masur. “We are doing it in his honour and to continue the fight for so many people out there.”

The 122 pints of blood that were collected over the weekend will help save 366 lives, and the $310 raised for the Help a Child Smile foundation will assist other children with similar health problems.

“This was a really good cause we as a team wanted to be a part of,” said rugby forward and fourth-year business student Matt Stonkus. “It was a really good experience to be a part of, especially since a lot of guys had never given blood before, or hadn’t in a few years.”

“It feels great to be able to contribute to an event like this,” added Josh Stickle of the men’s baseball team. “I met Gavin last year and he was my inspiration to keep donating. Just knowing that this will help other people out is a tribute to him.”

Masur added that participating in something like this can be a great team bonding experience.

“Getting the sports teams involved really boosts their morale,” said Masur. “They get to do something really meaningful and give back to the community that gives so much to them.”

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