50th milestone: Advocating for good health and helping others

May 9th, 2024, was my 50th Blood donation at Canadian Blood Services in Victoria, BC.

I had the opportunity bright and early on my donation day to speak with Al Ferraby on our local radio station CFax 1070. The goal was and is to raise awareness for the serious need for blood donors in Canada. Including awareness for a genetic condition I have, called Hemochromatosis. May is hemochromatosis (a genetic condition that causes iron overload) awareness month, so I wanted to use my voice and speak about it, hopefully helping others.

My father passed away of illnesses brought on by the hemochromatosis in 2007 and he was unaware he had it. The way to maintain a healthy lifestyle is to follow some guidelines and have regular blood removal. My condition had issues related to heart issues (iron stores in your organs, which is where my late father had the deposits of iron that caused cancers). My late father was in the UK, and I feel he was failed by the medical system there.

Not the case here in British Columbia - my team of medical professionals in lower Vancouver Island have been, and are, a stellar group of people in our area, where I was diagnosed and treated. The iron deposits in my heart etc have been removed through self-discipline and assistance of such an amazing health care system here.

When I was diagnosed after my father’s passing, I went for regular blood lets at the local hospital to drop my elevated levels (1000). This took many weeks until the readings were at a manageable level, allowing me to donate at the Canadian Blood Services.

The positive experiences during my 50 donations with an amazing amount of care and professionalism from all the staff at the Saanich location is very much appreciated.

It has been quite a journey and I urge people to give their time to help.

AND…. They have the best snacks post donation. Let’s do some math — 50 donations and more than one cookie a visit. Yeah, I’m a little embarrassed. But they are great snacks so I can’t be judged, can I? See you at the 75th and 100th. Stay safe.


Victoria, British Columbia

Blood donor in donor centre with snacks and water bottle