Eileen has donated more than 100 times
I have been donating blood since I was 18 years old. My first donation was on 1st August 1968 and I have now given 108 donations. I donate in various venues around Ilford, Barking, Romford and Stratford depending on which one has a convenient session that I can attend.
I continue because it is something I can do to help other people; as a Christian and a member of Girlguiding all my life I have promised to put other people before myself and this is one way I can do that.
(Image: Eileen and her boyfriend Evan were together when she first donated blood and got married in 1970)
I had hoped to donate one of my kidneys but unfortunately I am not able to do so as one of my kidneys is only 39% so not enough to give to a recipient or to leave me with. I carried a donor card since the 1970’s but a living donation has a far better chance of being successful than one from a cadaver.
I have promised to put other people before myself and this is one way I can do that
(Image: Eileen on holiday in America this summer when she visited her Grandchildren)
My Mum also donated blood. She was one of the first and youngest donors, in 1939 in Bristol, where she worked at the Metal agency. She was 19 years old but, in those days, you could not consent until 21 years old, however, as her father also worked there, he was able to give his permission. I don’t know how many times my Mum donated in total. But I do know that she donated 22 times between 22nd November 1962 and 19th April 1977; I have her little blue book with the certificates in it for that period. I know that she had to stop when she got diverticulitis because she was on medication and in those days you were not allowed to donate if you took any medication.