Each year on the anniversary of my wife's death, I make a donation to Canadian Blood Services.
My wife Elinor was a devoted blood donor, as was I until I was no longer able to give. Elinor had made approximately 80 donations when she was diagnosed with kidney cancer in March 2008. Not surprisingly she was devastated by the diagnosis from which she died on July 19, 2009. She was also disappointed when she realized she could no longer be a blood donor.
In my eulogy at her funeral, I urged people to commemorate her life by making blood donations which she could obviously no longer do. One of the people present at the funeral was a teacher and vice-principal of a high school. She advised students at the school of her friend's passing and Elinor's commitment to donating blood. For a number of years thereafter the school would have a blood drive at which many young adults would give blood for the first time and hopefully begin a lifetime of blood donations, just as my late wife had done.