Blood drive remembers Calgary’s ‘Boy in the Bubble’

Joel Kom, Calgary Herald

Published: Saturday, March 22, 2008

CALGARY – A blood drive in memory of Evan Pogubila – who captured the city’s attention last year as Calgary’s own “Boy in the Bubble” – brought in 90 donations on Saturday, meeting the drive’s target to garner enough blood to help up to 270 people.

It was exactly a year ago today that Evan got his stem cell transplant, giving him the bone marrow his parents hoped would pull him through his severe combined immunodeficiency disease.

The disease, also known as SCIDs, meant that any contact Evan had with anybody could compromise what little immune system he had.

Evan died a little more than three months after the transplant, but his parents kept his memory alive by organizing a blood drive – something they plan to do annually from now on.

“If someone comes to me in the next 10 years and says, ‘Frank, I’m a bone marrow match for someone’ and donates it, that’d be like winning the lottery,” said Frank Pogublia, Evan’s father.

The drive brought in 90 people Saturday, and Pogublia hoped more people would take about an hour of their time to give blood.

The permanent clinic in the Beltline needs donors to come in on Easter Monday, either from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. You can call 1-888-2-DONATE to get more information or visit
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