Windsor Lifeguards Saving Lives In and Out of Pools
For Windsor lifeguards, saving lives extends far beyond the local pools and Sandpoint Beach. For close to 10 years, local lifeguards have been rolling up their sleeves and donating blood as part of the annual Windsor Lifeguard Challenge.
Windsor International Aquatic and Training Centre lifeguard and pool coordinator Shane Guthrie, 22, knows first hand the importance of blood donations. In 2015 after feeling very tired and run down, Guthrie was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia, a deficiency of all types of blood cells caused by failure of bone marrow development. For Guthrie, the diagnosis turned his world upside down.
“I was really scared at first,” he said. “But after the doctor assured me it wasn’t cancer and it can be cured, that made me feel a little more positive.”
Guthrie underwent multiple blood transfusions but was in dire need of a bone marrow donor. His younger brother, Dylan, 20, a lifeguard at Lanspeary Pool stepped up and donated his bone marrow. After six months, Guthrie was released from hospital and is on his way to a full recovery.
“The blood transfusions and bone marrow saved my life,” Guthrie said. “As lifeguards, we are very health conscious, so we really push the lifeguard challenge because we are always trying to help people, and this gives us the chance to go above and beyond what we do in our jobs.”
The Windsor Lifeguard Challenge kicks off on Monday, August 12 at 5:30 p.m. at Canadian Blood Services at 3909 Grand Marais Drive East and runs until August 15. Lifeguards from various city pools and beaches will be having a friendly competition to see which location can get the most people to donate.