Students Respond to Call to Give Blood

December 9, 2014

BRANDON, MB – More than 50 Brandon University (BU) students and the Brandon Bobcat’s sports mascot rallied to give the gift of life, in support of a Brandon-area infant that requires weekly blood transfusions.

Bobcat player Ali-Mounir Benabdelhak with Bailey and Kristen Phillips before donating blood

Bobcat player Ali-Mounir Benabdelhak with Bailey and Kristen Phillips before donating blood

Fifteen month old Bailey Phillips was born with the virus Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and her own body is consuming blood platelets as fast as her bone marrow can produce them. Bailey requires regular transfusions to survive and has received more than 120 since August, 2013.

“The holiday season is such a tough time for blood donations,” says Bailey’s mother, Kristen Phillips, who was thrilled to see a steady stream of BU students rolling up their sleeves, including eight members of the BU Bobcats men’s basketball team. “People get busy and donations decrease, so we need to do everything we can. If sharing Bailey’s story helps get another person to donate blood, that’s great.”

BU Student Engagement Officer Michelle Bessette, blood drive organizer and friend of the Phillips, says, “It was a wonderful turnout, I’m very happy with the support of the Brandon community.”

BU students wait to give blood during the Bailey Phlillips drive, 2014 (web)

BU students wait to give blood

Bessette says turnout was so overwhelming – including 32 first-time donors – that some had to be turned away because of space limitations at the Canadian Blood Services office clinic. “Arrangements were made for them for another day,” she says. “Donations are needed year-round, for Bailey and for the other Canadians who require blood and blood products every single day.”

Bailey was presented with a signed basketball, baby basketball shoes, and a doll of the Bobcats mascot, who also goes by the name Bailey.

BU President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Gervan Fearon, says, “It is outstanding to see the contributions made by our University athletes, students, staff, faculty and other to this important cause. Brandon University is very much a part of the community and this demonstrates it in yet another marvelous way.”

Brandon University, founded in 1899, promotes excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship; educating students so that they can make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders.


For more information, please contact:

Michelle Bessette
Student Engagement Officer

Glen Kirby
Communications Officer