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Canada

‘They helped save my life’: Kingston man gives back to blood clinic

After living with the inherited blood disorder Von Willebrand disease for 24 years, Brock Powell received crushing news last year that would change his life moving forward.

“Early in 2018, I wasn’t feeling too well one day so I went to the emergency, and that night, I was diagnosed with stage 3 testicular cancer,” said Powell.

WATCH: How to help Canadian Blood Services even if you can’t donate yourself

The diagnosis came as a surprise to Powell, but he says it was a wake-up call to give back to those who had been by his side through all of his adversities. After a month of treatment in 2018, Powell decided to found, ‘Blood for Brock’, a blood donation event at Kingston’s Canadian Blood Services building on Gardner’s Road.

“I’ve been receiving blood my entire life and the amount is astronomical, and unfortunately, I can’t give back because of my blood disorder, but Blood for Brock is way to give back and help those in need,” said Powell.

READ MORE: Canadian Blood Services looking for donations in Kingston

The first annual ‘Blood for Brock’ in 2018 was a success; filling the clinic with friends and family in support of Powell. But, this year’s event, saw dozens of strangers who heard Powell’s story come to the clinic to give blood and donate to his cause. A day that Debbie Barfoot, the territory manager for Canadian Blood Services, says is a day marked on the calendar.

“Having Brock and his supporters come to our clinic is huge. Without their support our clinic would collect around 30 per cent of our daily goal,” said Barfoot.

According to Powell, last year’s ‘Blood for Brock’ collected 37 pints of blood, which motivated him to add to that number in 2019. Powell told Global News late Friday afternoon, that the clinic had collected 60 pints during the 2nd annual ‘Blood for Brock’.

“Next year, I want to go even bigger! I don’t have a number in mind but I want the event to help even more people because they helped save my life,” said Powell.

READ MORE: Regina’s Canadian Blood Services to sell building, looking for new location

After a year-long battle with cancer, Powell says he is in remission.

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