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: