The unsung heroes

Shell Cove's John Dalby has been donating blood through the Australian Red Cross Blood Service for the past 48 years and recently made his 115th donation. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

Shell Cove's John Dalby has been donating blood through the Australian Red Cross Blood Service for the past 48 years and recently made his 115th donation. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

FORMER Kiama paramedic John Dalby isn't bothered he has never met many people whose lives he has helped save over the past 48 years.

Mr Dalby, 68, recently made his 115th blood donation through the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, something he's been doing ever since a friend suggested it all those years ago.

"Someone said to me, 'I'm going up to give blood' and explained how it helps people. I thought it sounded like a worthwhile thing so I went along as well," Mr Dalby said.

"It helps people no matter who they are and it's just nice to think you've helped somebody who really needs help."

Each blood donation can help up to three patients in need of a transfusion.

Mr Dalby gives up an hour every three months to donate blood and he would like to see more people follow his lead.

"Some times I haven't been able to because of different circumstances here and there, but I haven't missed too many," he said. "It's only an hour and it's just a needle in the arm, it's not some big painful procedure and if you're of good health it's something you should consider.

"They check your blood pressure and things like that when you're there so for me I get a free medical every three months as well."

Mr Dalby's blood type is O-negative, the universal blood type that can be used in emergencies when a patient's blood type is unknown, which makes his contribution even more important.

The Red Cross has low stocks of O-negative blood and needs to boost stocks during winter, when many people can't donate due to illness.

"World Blood Donor Day [last Saturday] is a time to recognise the heroic efforts of [donors], whose every donation helps to save three lives," Blood Service spokeswoman Jenna Falkenmire said.

The Mobile Donor Centre will be at the Kiama Anglican Church car park on Wednesday, June 18, Thursday, June 19, and Friday, June 20.

To donate blood, visit donateblood.com.au.

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