Media Releases

U of T student spearheads Ally Blood Donor clinics

June 23, 2014

An act of love inspires U of T student and Canadian Blood Services to host Ally clinics during World Pride

TORONTO, ON - Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to PhD stu­dent Stephen McCarthy, along with Cana­di­an Blood Ser­vices, is host­ing an Ally Blood Donor clin­ic dur­ing World Pride activ­i­ties in Toron­to.  These clin­ics invite peo­ple who are inel­i­gi­ble to donate to bring an ally to donate blood on their behalf. The clin­ic will be held on Fri­day, June 27, 2014 at 67 Col­lege Street.

As an HIV researcher with the Depart­ment of Lab­o­ra­to­ry Med­i­cine and Patho­bi­ol­o­gy, and an active vol­un­teer with the AIDS com­mit­tee of Toron­to, McCarthy was inspired to cre­ate this event when he learned that he was inel­i­gi­ble to donate blood. Cur­rent­ly, there is a pol­i­cy that lim­its the eli­gi­bil­i­ty of men who have sex with men.

“Find­ing out that I couldn’t donate was real­ly hard,” said McCarthy. “I’ve always want­ed to help.”

After hear­ing the dif­fi­cult news, McCarthy told his dad Jim that he no longer need­ed to make a planned stop at the blood donor clin­ic that day. His dad could sense his son’s dis­ap­point­ment.

“My dad knew how much donat­ing meant to me and he want­ed to help, so he vol­un­teered to give blood on my behalf,” said McCarthy.

McCarthy’s dad want­ed to help his son. “I am proud of my son, and his hard work doing HIV-cure research along­side Cana­di­an Blood Ser­vices, which is why I am donat­ing to sup­port him,” shared Jim.

That act of love and sup­port was ulti­mate­ly the inspi­ra­tion that led to the cre­ation of Ally Blood Donor clin­ics.

“We real­ize that the cur­rent five-year pol­i­cy is not sat­is­fac­to­ry to many, “says Dana Devine, Chief Med­ical and Sci­en­tif­ic Offi­cer with Cana­di­an Blood Ser­vices. “We con­tin­ue to review the impact on safe­ty.”

In the mean­time, Cana­di­an Blood Ser­vices invites every­one who has been deferred for any rea­son to con­sid­er part­ner­ing with an eli­gi­ble donor and ask them to accom­pa­ny them to donate on their behalf.

To book an appoint­ment, down­load the Give­Blood app, vis­it or call 1–888-2-DONATE (1–888-236 6283) today.


For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:
Katie Bab­cock, Web and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Coor­di­na­tor
The Depart­ment of Lab­o­ra­to­ry Med­i­cine and Patho­bi­ol­o­gy (LMP), Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
E:  |  P: 416–278-6568  |  W: