Family and friends say Cody Allard was always keen to help others, so on the anniversary of his death they came together to donate blood as a way to continue that legacy.
The Guildford-area resident died one year ago after a crash involving a vehicle and the motorcycle Allard was riding westbound on Highway 10 in Cloverdale, on Aug. 17, 2019. Hospitalized with significant injuries, the 30-year-old was removed from life support two days later.
“He loved riding bikes,” said Allard’s sister, Alyssa Connelly.
“He was just in the process of selling the damn thing,” added his mother, Terri Allard.
“He had one (motorbike) and sold it, but got another one because gas prices were just crazy,” recalled Connelly.
“He put that bike up for sale just four days before the accident occurred.”
Still mourning, Cody’s family planned a blood drive as a way to honour his passion for helping others in need.
“It didn’t matter who you were or what was needed, he was there to help, and that’s why we’re doing this,” explained Terri.
“It’s just something we thought would be appropriate given how Cody felt about blood and organ donation and how he felt about helping people,” added Connelly. “It’s just good way to honour his legacy of giving back and helping others.”
A frequent blood donor, Cody’s organ donations helped improve the lives of several people following his death.
“We know his kidneys were successfully transferred, and his eyes helped others see again, for different vision problems,” Connelly noted.
The memorial blood drive was held Aug. 19 at the Canadian Blood Services clinic in Guildford, not far from where Cody lived with his wife Alaina and daughter Dakota.
By spreading word on social media among Cody’s friends and family, the blood drive was fully booked ahead of time.
“It came together that way and got the ball rolling, and we’re so happy with the response,” Connelly said. “This is just the launch, and people can donate in his name for the rest of year, which is great.”
Cody’s biography is posted to blood.ca, where people can get more information about blood donation.
The need for donated blood is great at the moment, as hospitals resume procedures that were put on hold due to COVID-19, according to Canadian Blood Services communications rep Deb Steele-Kretschmer.
“Blood donors have shown incredible flexibility and commitment throughout COVID-19 and we need that to continue as we adjust and respond to this next phase,” Steele-Kretschmer told the Now-Leader.
Appointments are required to ensure physical distancing for donor, staff and volunteer safety.
“We are in great need of donors starting Sept. 2 at our permanent site located at 15285 101st Ave. in Surrey, and we have a special promotional event on Thursday, Aug. 27 at Relate Church where we need 66 more donors to book appointments and attend,” Steele-Kretschmer added.
“Blood donation can help address feelings of helplessness you may have in the face of COVID-19. Gaining a sense of control during this situation can help contribute to an overall sense of wellbeing.”
At the clinic in Guildford on Aug. 19, Cody’s daughter Dakota was given the task of handing out memorial bands to those who donate in honour of her father, who was in the process of becoming a firefighter and was a reservist in the British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Own).
“The donor event is a way to encourage others to follow in his footsteps by donating blood and registering as an organ donor,” Connelly said.
“It’s what Cody would have wanted, for sure.”