Becoming Better People Through Blood

By: Angalee Nadesalingam

The blood rushes out of me. The sight of it makes me slightly woozy. A few people watch.

No, this isn’t a murder scene. On the contrary, I’d call it a scene full of generous, caring people who strive to make a greater difference in the world.

CALIPER is an innovative project, taking place at SickKids Hospitals across Canada, including Toronto. Their aim is to create a database of information about different ethnic, gender and age groups and the dosage of medicine these different groups take.

We are all different from each other. Just imagine that the smallest, scrawniest kid in your class is getting the same dosage of medicine as the tallest, biggest kid that plays on the football team! Is that really safe?

The database of information CALIPER creates separates people of different height, weight, age, ethnic background and blood type, to ensure that our medicines will fit us.

When I realized what an amazing idea this was, I decided to donate some of my blood to help a greater cause. A bunch of my friends and I headed over to SickKids one day to become a part of this project.

We were all slightly nervous and anxious since donating blood was a new experience for all of us. One of the guys went first as we all sat in the hallway wondering how giving blood would feel. We were squirmy and excited as we were waiting our turns.

When I finally had my turn to sit in that big blue donor’s chair, the kind nurse smiled and assured me I would only feel a tiny prick. I smiled back doubtfully, thinking it would be awfully painful.

However, the nurse was right. It really was just a prick! It hurt quite less than a needle; my friend Zach even claimed that he didn’t feel anything!

When the procedure was over, I felt like a changed, accomplished person. Rather than donating a few dollars, I’d gone out of my way to donate blood that was going to make Canada, and the whole world, a better place.

When we left the building, we all had our little trophies of success, $10 in our back pockets, and 2 volunteer hours behind us.

Right before grade 8 graduation, one of my friends who had donated blood with me wrote in my yearbook, ‘you’ve make me a better person through CALIPER’.

This is an amazing opportunity that will benefit us. So be a part of this change. Get involved in CALIPER. Visit for more details.