Addison Johnston (center), out for a bit of exercise in Vancouver with younger brother Ryland (left) and father Shane (right). The Chilliwack Stingrays Swim Club is holding a blood drive to benefit the teenager, who is receiving treatment for a rare form of leukemia at Vancouver General Hospital. (submitted photo)

Addison Johnston (center), out for a bit of exercise in Vancouver with younger brother Ryland (left) and father Shane (right). The Chilliwack Stingrays Swim Club is holding a blood drive to benefit the teenager, who is receiving treatment for a rare form of leukemia at Vancouver General Hospital. (submitted photo)

Chilliwack Stingrays holding blood drive to help former teammate

Addison Johnston was diagnosed with leukemia in the summer. Treatment involves platelet transfusions

The Chilliwack Stingrays Swim Club is once again rallying to help a former teammate.

The Stingrays are holding a blood drive on Oct. 27, in support of Addison Johnston. The 17-year-old was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia over the summer. He has had four transfusions of platelets since July and will need more as his treatment progresses.

The blood drive will be held at First Avenue Church at 46510 First Avenue, between 1 and 5 p.m.

“Alycia Connorton, a nurse and a past coach, has been championing this blood drive with me,” said Kyla Campbell of the Stingrays. “We want to bring awareness to the need to donate and to continue to support our teammate. Being part of the Stingrays means that we are family and a community where life long friendships are made.

“Addison’s battle is a relay and we will continue to cheer him on, giving support however we can.”

Donations are by appointment and can be booked online at www.blood.ca or through the GiveBlood app. Once registered/signed in, donors can click on ‘partners’ below ‘my account,’ enter the team name ‘In support of Addison’ and click join.

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From there, an appointment can be booked on the ‘team appointments’ page.

Anyone who is at least 17 years old can donate.

First time donators between the ages of 17-23 must meet the minimum weight requirement of 110 pounds, and any donor should eat a salty snack and drink at least 500 millilitres of water beforehand.

“If you are able, also please consider signing up to become a bone marrow donor,” said Addison’s mom, Kristin Johnston. “We are still searching for a match. If you are between the ages of 17-35 and in good health you can donate. It is not painful. It is very similar to donating blood.”

Email alycia.connorton@gmail.com with questions about registering or contact Kyla Campbell with the Stingrays at Craigkyla@shaw.ca

When Addison was diagnosed in the summer, the Stingrays came together for a swim-a-thon that raised $5537.50 for the Johnston family.


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eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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