Blood brothers join centurions
PUBLISHED: 10:06 29 January 2008 | UPDATED: 21:21 31 May 2010
TWIN brothers have been honoured for rolling up their sleeves and donating blood more than 100 times. Giving blood since 1969, Malcolm and Geoff White, from Saffron Walden, have joined an elite group of centurions. Gareth Bell, of the National Blood Serv
TWIN brothers have been honoured for rolling up their sleeves and donating blood more than 100 times.
Giving blood since 1969, Malcolm and Geoff White, from Saffron Walden, have joined an elite group of centurions.
Gareth Bell, of the National Blood Service (NBS), said: "Only a very select group of people ever reach 100 donations and the White brothers have shown tremendous commitment over many years."
They were each presented with a crystal decanter - the top honour for blood donors - from the NBS at a presentation last week.
The generous brothers, 57, have been giving blood, up to three times a year, for nearly 40 years and show no sign of slowing down in the future.
Saffron Walden town clerk Malcolm White has had first hand experience of the positive effect blood donors have on families at their greatest time of need. Malcolm's son, Tom, died when he was just 23-years-old, but during his nine month battle against cancer he received over 25 units of blood and platelets.
Mr White said: "Tom was only young when he died but blood donors gave him a fighting chance. I am very grateful for that.
"Tom was a fit young man before he was diagnosed with cancer. I hope his fight against this terrible disease encourages others to step forward and donate."
The White brothers started by giving blood in Saffron Walden, but were keen to offer more help by donating platelets once-a-month in Cambridge.
Platelets - the cells circulating in the blood that helps it to clot - play a vital role in the treatment of cancer and leukaemia patients by allowing their chemo- or radiotherapy to take place.
Mr White urged people to follow his example: "You can be any age when you need blood - everyone who can give blood should make the effort to go along."
The NBS must collect 7000 units of blood across England and north Wales on a daily basis to ensure blood banks remain well stocked.
Mr Bell said: "We are always looking out for new blood and platelet donors to step forward as the demand for blood is constant. Every donation collected is vital and can help more than one patient in need of a transfusion."
To find out where you can give blood locally and to book an appointment call the donor helpline on 0845 7711711, or visit www.blood.co.uk.
If you are already a blood donor and want to help even more by becoming a platelet donor please contact the Cambridge Donor Centre, situated on the Addenbrooke's site, on 01223 548001.