By Sarah Cai, Volunteer
Photo by Billy Wong, Volunteer

It all began with a pledge. Mrs Lu T Aida’s father-in-law was suffering from liver cancer and when an operation was called for, the whole family came to give blood.

Unfortunately for Mrs Lu, 70, who was very close to him, she was unable to do anything; she was the only one in the family with a different blood type. She then made a pledge. If God would save him or at least let him go peacefully, she would give her blood to save others.

Her prayer was answered and she kept her part of her pledge. She still has the blood donation card indicating the date of each donation, the first one dating from 16 May 1983. “It’s like going home,” she says. The nurses recognise her when she returns and are like a family. She admits that it was discouraging each time she was deferred, especially after she had to find time between her work to donate blood.

Still, whenever successful, knowing that she can save people empowers her to return.

She is not the only one in her family to donate blood; her brother has made some 138 donations. Mrs Lu is the oldest award recipient this year, and she acknowledges that with age, it is increasingly difficult. As she advanced to over 80 donations, her aim had been to attain the 100-donation mark.

After another series of unsuccessful attempts, she was finally able to make her 100th donation. We thank her for her dedication and commitment, and wish her all the best towards her next milestone.

By Sarah Cai, Volunteer
Photo by Billy Wong, Volunteer

“Feels good”. That sums up Marini Martin Vincent’s thought on donating blood. It began one September before his Junior College 2 exams. He was hoping to be more active in social causes as part of the mission school’s focus on giving back to society. He organised a mobile bloodbank bus to come by the junior college. Two weeks later, the importance of this became more than apparent with the Spyros disaster.

Marini, 57, was also inspired by his late father who used to donate blood. He acknowledged that he was a less active blood donor back in his NS days. Thereafter, he was committed to donating whole blood four times annually. Subsequently, he switched to apheresis donations which enabled him to donate more frequently.

He gains satisfaction when the general health checks (before giving blood) attest that he is in good health. “Giving blood actually helps you lose weight,” he quipped. He described giving blood as a positive cycle; he wants to be in good health to be able to give blood. This in turn keeps him in good health.

He hopes that more people can jump on the bandwagon to donate blood. Though people may be busy, he believes that friends and social media can be encouraging factors. For a start, he is hoping to spread the blood donation legacy to his grandson by giving him the bear he received from Thalassemia Society. We hope the tradition of giving blood will continue in the family.