Penetanguishene blood donor clinic to be held in honour of longtime firefighter Ron Marchand

A blood donor clinic is being held on July 27 in Penetanguishene in honour of longtime volunteer firefighter and avid donor Ron Marchand.

Marchand died Dec. 28 after a two-month battle with lymphoma. He was 60 years old.

During his cancer treatment, he received many blood transfusions and numerous blood products. His family is grateful for the blood he received and has continued to donate blood in his honour whenever possible.

“It was amazing how much blood (he needed),” said wife Cathie Marchand. “You don’t realize how much blood is used and needed at the hospitals.”

While donating blood recently, Cathie struck up a conversation with her nurse about her late husband.

Marchand was a volunteer firefighter for 30 years with the Penetanguishene Fire Department, rising to the rank of captain. He had retired from a 30-year career at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care a year before getting his cancer diagnosis.

Having frequented the blood donor clinics in Penetanguishene over the years, the nurse knew of Marchand. She suggested holding a clinic in his honour and Cathie was happy to participate.

“We want to get as many people out donating as possible,” said Cathie. “We need to keep our blood supply up.”

Cancer patients like Marchand, accident victims, those undergoing surgery and people with blood disorders rely on blood platelets and plasma transfusions every day.

According to Canadian Blood Services, more than 100,000 new donors are needed in Canada this year in order to keep up with demand.

COVID-19 has put a significant strain on the country’s blood supply. The number of people who donate regularly decreased by 31,000 during the pandemic, resulting in the smallest donor base in a decade.

Although one in two Canadians is eligible to donate, only one in 81 does so.

Cathie is encouraging local residents to book an appointment at the July 27 clinic, which will be held at the Penetanguishene Legion from 2:30-7:30 p.m.

Appointments can be booked on the GiveBlood app, at or by calling 1-888-236-6283.


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