Ron St. Onge donated blood at every opportunity.
For roughly 20 years, the Stratford man gave as often as he could at Charlottetown’s Canadian Blood Services clinic.
Until, one day, St. Onge was the one who needed blood.
“Every time he had a transfusion it felt like a real gift because of the fact somebody took the time out of their day to go and donate blood so that it would be available if anyone needed it — just like he did,” said his wife Wendy Toy of Stratford.
St. Onge was diagnosed in 2014 with cancer unknown primary, which is when cancer cells are found in the body but the location where the cancer started is unknown.
He died from the disease in 2016.
His wish was to not make his death something sad, but to bring something good from it.
He asked his wife for people to donate blood to Canadian Blood Services in his honour.
That’s how the “In Honour blood donation event in memory of Ron St. Onge” started in 2017.
The third installment of the blood clinic will be held Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Canadian Blood Services clinic at 85 Fitzroy St. in Charlottetown.
“For me it not only fulfills a promise that I made to him, which was to do something around blood donation, but it also helps anybody that needs blood,” said Toy.
Since the event started, many of St. Onge’s friends, family, colleagues and even people he never knew, donate blood in his honour every year.
Toy said it’s become a fun event with friendly competition.
“You can find out how long it takes you to donate and they have almost a little friendly competition with it so it’s not a sad thing, it’s a playful, fun thing,” she said.
The goal each year is to fill as many units of blood as St. Onge approximately had donated during his life.
Toy said she estimates that would be close to 70 units or higher.
Last year’s event met the goal.
Toy said St. Onge would be happy by the response to the blood clinic event.
“At the end of the day I think he’d be humbled and pleased that people were doing this,” she said.
St. Onge was a professional engineer with the federal government in Charlottetown. He was an active cyclist, runner, kayaker, hiker and skier.