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Wilfrid Laurier University Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
October 27, 2016
Canadian Excellence

(L to R): Kylie Masur holding Nicholas (Gavin’s new brother); Gavin’s mom Tracie, Gavin’s older brother Tyler, Gavin’s dad Don; Jessie Masur

Kylie and Jessie Masur, Students

Kylie and Jessie Masur were just teenagers when they had someone close to them pass away from cancer. They watched as five-year-old Gavin Shaw battled various rare forms of the disease. He was able to live a few extra years thanks to blood transfusions.

“What we saw when he got transfusions was a whole new life in him,” said Kylie Masur, a 5th-year 23-year-old Wilfrid Laurier University student. “Gavin would be drained. He would have nothing left. And then he would get a blood transfusion and he would run around like a kid again.”

Kylie and her younger sister Jessie are now the driving force behind blood donor drives held in Kitchener-Waterloo twice a year to help people just like Gavin. In 2011, they exceeded their goal of getting 175 people to donate.

“We just want to people to understand the importance of giving blood and how it literally takes an hour of your time,” said Jessie, a first-year student at Laurier.

They met Gavin when he was just five months old. He and his older brother Tyler went to the daycare run by Kylie and Jessie’s mom, Diane. In 2004, when Gavin was 18 months old, Jessie found a bump on his head. He was diagnosed with cancer, and six months later had a second form of the disease. Gavin went into remission in April 2009, but the cancer came back a month later and he passed away on Nov. 13, 2009.

“We may not have been able to save his life, but we can save so many other people’s lives now that we’re able to do this and we’re getting so many other people on board with this,” said Kylie.

To find out more about Kylie and Jessie’s next blood donor clinic, please email Students, staff and faculty can also visit the KW Blood Clinic at any time in between these clinics. It’s located at 94 Bridgeport Road East in Waterloo. The Giving for Gavin group number is GIVI010672. Donors must be over the age of 17.