By Matthew Abrey
David Stacey seems like a pretty normal guy.
He grew up in North Vancouver, worked at the Bank of Commerce for many years before settling in Coldstream, and has a lovely wife, to whom he regularly refers to as his “better half.”
Oh, and he just happens to have donated blood more than 150 times.
Because of that remarkable feat, Stacey was honoured at an annual recognition ceremony hosted by Canadian Blood Services in Kelowna Thursday night.
He said the first time he walked into a clinic to donate, just the thought of it got his blood pumping.
“I had a manager when I lived in Lillooet, who told me that a competing credit union had challenged us to see who could get the higher number of donations and that I was participating,” said Stacey. “I told him I was a little afraid of needles, and he said ‘not today you’re not,’ so down we went,” he laughed.
That was in 1976 and Stacey hasn’t slowed down since.
“If people want to make a difference, they need to take a look at themselves and be that difference,” he said. “Canada’s wonderful because we give because we care. There’s no money involved, and other than the cookies and the juice at the end, there’s no big reward for it.”
However, despite the night’s celebratory theme, it was also made clear that new donors are always needed. One in two people in Canada are able to give blood, but only one in 60 actually do.
“It’s a big thing when somebody commits that much time and that many donations to our organization to saving lives of hospital patients, and it means the world,” said Gayle Boyer, territory manager for Blood Services Canada. “But the need persists for more donors, so we encourage people to stop by one of our many clinics in the Okanagan and help families in need, who can’t ever thank donors enough for the contributions they’ve made.”
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