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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 12, 2008

Canadian Blood Services, Eastlink Encourage Maritimers to Give Precious Gift

Halifax, Nova Scotia -Canadian Blood Services and Eastlink are asking everyone to roll up their sleeves this holiday season during Eastlink Blood Donor Days (December 14th to December 27th) to donate blood - because giving blood is the most precious gift to a hospital patient in need.

Every year, the holiday season presents a challenge for blood collection and this year is no exception. People are busy with family and friends and preoccupied with holiday festivities. This, combined with an increase in hospital demand, makes this December more challenging than ever. Canadian Blood Services needs to collect 900,000 units of blood nationally to meet hospital demands. This month in Nova Scotia Canadian Blood Services needs to collect about 6,000 units. With 40 permanent locations and 19,000 clinics held annually across the country, chances are there's a clinic near you.

"During the busy holiday season it is very easy for people to forget the need for blood donation does not stop," says Michael Smith, Director of Eastlink Television. "Eastlink is pleased to be able to help Canadian Blood Services raise the awareness of this need during Eastlink Blood Donor Days."

On December 14th, Eastlink Blood Donor Days begins with coverage on Eastlink Television's Community Matters Notice Board where clinic times and locations, information on how to book an appointment and interesting facts about blood donation will be available to viewers. December 15th at 7pm will feature an Eastlink Magazine Blood Donor Days Special, a half hour program with stories that share the impact of blood donation.

Join Dr. John Gillis, December 17th at 9pm for Doc Talk as he speaks with transfusion expert and Medical Director of Canadian Blood Services Atlantic, Dr. Eiad Kahwash. On December 19th during Quebec Major Junior Friday Night Hockey, Host Kyle Moore, during the first intermission, will speak with Canadian Blood Services Community Development Coordinator, Debbie Martell about the effect of blood donation at the community level.

"Eastlink has, and continues to be, a tremendous supporter of the blood system by not only increasing the public's awareness about the constant need for blood through special programming, but by coming out as a group to our blood donor clinics and making donations," says Peter MacDonald, Director, Donor & Clinic Services, Atlantic. "A huge thank you to Eastlink and to all of our generous blood donors who take one hour out of their day to save a life. People can give the gift of blood every 56 days - the cost is free and this is one gift that can make a profound difference in the lives of patients and their families." The holiday season can be a difficult time to collect blood with many people busy getting ready for the holidays. Hospitals continue to draw on the supply of blood and blood products, while donors, preoccupied with holiday activities, do not continue to replenish the supply. Eastlink and Canadian Blood Services want to remind people that the need for blood never stops - it does not take a holiday.

To book an appointment please call 1 888 2 DONATE today or visit www.blood.ca for more information.

About Eastlink
Operating from its headquarters in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Eastlink is the fifth largest cable company in Canada and was the first to offer customers local telephone service over a state-of-the-art digital network. Eastlink is one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies with more than 800 employees who provide a range of communications, entertainment & advertising services to business and residential customers across the Atlantic Provinces. For more information on Eastlink products and services, please visit www.eastlink.ca.

Media Contact

Jill Laing
Public and Media Relations
(902) 446-1939
Jill.Laing@corp.eastlink.ca