My name is Marshall Eliuk and for 46 years I was the dealer principal at Marshall Automotive, a Chevrolet Buick GMC dealership in Peace River, Alberta. I was in reasonably good health, working long days without a problem, but in the year 2000 I was diagnosed with a rare disease called aplastic anemia, a disease similar to leukemia.
One option was for me to receive a stem cell treatment, but this isn’t as easy as you might think. Did you know almost 75% of Canadians can’t find a stem cell match in their own family? At the time, Canada was the only G7 country that didn’t have our own national public cord blood bank, which meant that I would rely entirely on the international registry to find my match.
I was told I would be transfused continually until my body rejected transfusions and the end would be there. Miraculously, after being transfused six bags of platelets every three days for nine months, I regained my blood count which has stayed constant to this day. I said to myself at that time “I owe it to the Canadian Blood Services, the U of A hospital and the great honorable people who donate blood and funding to keep our country’s blood supply operating.”
Since then, I’ve become an avid champion for Canadian Blood Services. So much so that I made a $1.5 million donation to help build Canadian Blood Services’ Cord Blood Bank and the Edmonton site was named in my honour. Check out my photo above to see just how thrilled my wife Judi and I were at the unveiling event.
I hope you’ll join me in my mission to further the work of Canadian Blood Services. I assure you this donation will make you feel good knowing that your money helped save someone’s life, or will give someone back their quality of life by helping them find an organ match or stem cell match. Canadian Blood Services may just save you, someone in your family, a relative, a close friend or a faithful customer from a horrible disease we wish we would never experience.
Thank you so much for your support.