SANBS honours a lifetime of giving blood

2012-03-12 00:00

SINCE he was a teenager, Raymond du Toit has been donating blood and has managed to donate 650 pints in the last 60 or so years.

For this, the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) showered him with praise at a ceremony on Friday.

His dedication to donating blood began when a close school friend needed blood, and Du Toit has since challenged himself to reach the various milestones in blood donation.

He achieved his 75th blood donation certificate in 1974 and then aimed to reach 500 pints, then 600, for which he was given a personalised gold pen.

At age 67 he had donated 620 units of blood.

“After you donate blood,” said Du Toit, “you feel refreshed, like you can live. It also feels great to save lives.”

Of Du Toit’s 650 donations, 470 were whole blood donations and the remaining were plasma donations.

With whole blood donations, there is a requirement to wait 56 days between donations to allow the red blood cells to regenerate and therefore Du Toit donated, on average, four times a year.

“My grandson said that he was going to beat my record but I think he donated twice and stopped. No one in my family was really into it — my mum was scared of needles and my wife donated for a while but stopped. I keep trying to encourage people to donate.”

Du Toit, an ex-runner, said he has always lived a healthy life, which has allowed him to continue donating. He has run 34 Capital Climbs and a Comrades Marathon, and was involved in boxing.

“It’s great to have loyal donors,” said SANBS spokesperson Khulekani Zuma. “However, most donors are adults and older people and we are continuously trying to encourage younger people to donate.”

Teachers or schools interested in hosting clinics for blood donations can contact 082 328 9587, 033 264 3612 or e-mail khulekani.zuma@sanbs.org.za

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