Doug Creba doesn’t remember exactly when he first started donating blood.
He figures it was in 1995, when he was executive assistant to Jan Pullinger, Ladysmith-Cowichan MLA, then the minister responsible for emergency services.
The work, Creba said, raised his awareness about social responsibility.
“I was working in Duncan at the time and there were [blood donation] clinics at the community centre that I went to,” Creba said. “They caught my eye.”
In those days, no appointment was necessary, so it was easy for Creba to drop in two or three times each year. He now donates six times each year. The limit for donating blood is once every 56 days.
All those donations added up in the intervening years and on Tuesday Creba donated his 100th unit of blood at a Canadian Blood Services clinic in Beban Park Social Centre. His daughter, Cori, also showed up to make her first blood donation, carrying on what could become a family tradition.
Donors are getting harder to come by – about four per cent of the eligible population of potential donors actually give blood.
About 43 per cent of regular donors often cancel appointments or simply fail to show up.
“I think it is one of those things that, if you’re not in a hyper state of awareness, you just don’t hear it until something happens to you or someone that you love, you just don’t notice,” said Michelle Stratford, Canadian Blood Services event coordinator.
Stratford said Canadian Blood Services’ national distribution system ensures supply meets demand by shifting available blood supplies where they’re needed.
“We are at the lowest inventories we’ve seen in seven years, so the cupboards are getting very bare,” Stratford said. “We will continue to meet hospital demand, but we’re out there pushing hard and without donors like Doug we’d be in serious, serious trouble.”
For more information, please visit www.blood.ca.