Canadian Blood Services paid tribute to donors, volunteers and partners last night at the Radisson Hotel in Red Deer.

2018 05 16 cunnington2(Para-swimmer Tammy Cunnington addresses crowd at Canadian Blood Services donor recognition event - photo courtesy Shaun Richer)

Para-swimmer Tammy Cunnington was invited as a guest speaker, herself a blood recipient after she was struck by a plane at age six.

Cunnington cannot give blood because of the treatments she’s gone through but has lent her voice to encourage others to do it on her behalf.

“From the moment of injury until such a time I could be in a hospital where they could look after me properly, being given blood was the only thing keeping me alive,” Cunnington said beforehand in a phone interview.

“If there hadn’t been people who were generous in giving, and there hadn’t been blood available, I wouldn’t have been able to win that fight that led me to the quality of life I’ve led since that time.”

There were about 125 donors in attendance, who’ve made a combined 2,300 donations.

Cunnington said she wanted to put a face on the impact they make.

“You’re giving blood but not necessarily seeing the results of it. I think it’s a good motivation and encouragement to put a face to the results of what people are doing,” she said.

It was 1982 when an airplane crashed at the Ponoka Air Show, striking Cunnington. She went through 17 surgeries and numerous blood transfusions.

The crash left her a paraplegic with the full use of her right arm, core and shoulders. She has since competed in para-triathlon and wheelchair basketball. In 2016, she competed in para-swimming at the Rio Paralympics.

She is also building a career in motivational speaking.

More Local News

Lacombe Days committee in need of volunteers

Lacombe Days needs about 20 volunteers if the four-day event is to proceed with the same number of festivities. The organizing committee's Chris Ross says, they're desperate. "Without the volunteers,…

Blackfalds Bike Skills Park Set for Season

First identified as a priority in their Recreation Master Plan, the 12 acre Bike Skills Park in Blackfalds was approved last year, and now they are less than three weeks from their grand opening.…

Blackfalds RCMP Trying to Identify Woman with Injuries

From Blackfalds RCMP: On May 20th, 2018 at approximately 3: 00 am, Blackfalds RCMP responded to a report of a suspicious female at the west side Esso in Gasoline Alley. A witness reported that an…

30 year old killed in off highway crash west of Sundre

Updated with files from the Canadian Press: Members of an Alberta fire department are grieving the loss of one of their own. An off-duty firefighter with the Rocky View Fire Department from Cochrane…

Maskwacis schools to fall under new First Nations authority

The four Maskwacis Cree Nations signed what was called a “landmark” agreement with the federal government on Friday, which would allow them to take control of First Nations education in the…

Ashley Chmelyk Wanted for Charges in Wetaskiwin, Leduc & Fort Sask

From Fort Saskatchewan RCMP: The RCMP are actively trying to locate a male who is wanted on outstanding arrest warrants and believed to be actively evading the police. Public assistance is being…

Rimbey RCMP Investigate Break and Enter

From Rimbey RCMP – The RCMP are seeking public assistance in identifying a male following a break-in at the Rimbey Motor Inn. On May 1, 2018 in the morning, an adult male broke into the Motor Inn…

Lacombe Farmer's Market Returns to Michener Park

For some years, the Lacombe Farmer's Market was at Michener Park until it relocated indoors at the Gary Moe Autogroup Sportsplex Arena. This season the event has made a return to Michener Park, and…

Four Charged after Counterfeit Credit Card Search Warrant in Sylvan

From Red Deer RCMP – A man and a woman face a total of 84 criminal charges related to stolen and counterfeit credit cards after a Priority Crimes Task Force investigation that began in early March…

PAMZ Takes Public Input on Where to Place Air Monitoring Station

The Parkland Airshed Management Zone (PAMZ) held their annual public concerns meeting last night (May 17th) in Ponoka. According to PAMZ Executive Director Kevin Warren, the meeting was to help… is Cochrane's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide