Kerry and Trudi
Sisters Kerry and Trudi made their 50th donation together.
"I started donating when I was very young. In my very early 20s, if not before, and donated in between having three children.
My sister started donating at a young age too, I think she was also in her twenties. We used to donate regularly on the same day at the same venue, The Everyday Champions Church in Wellingborough. We’ve both continued to donate to this day. Between us, it must be getting on for nearly 60 years of blood donations!
This year we each gave our 50th donation!
We also donated our 49th pints in the same year (and) so I thought it would be a good idea if we could make that special 50th donation together. So, unbeknown to Trudi, I arranged a surprise with the NHS Blood and Transplant staff at The Everyday Champions Church which is such an amazing venue.
Trudi had no idea about the surprise. I roped in her husband, Martin, because I needed his help. He was brilliant. She was over the moon and it meant a lot to her. She's never missed a donation appointment. She does a lot for other people and she's also done a lot of charity work over the years. She's a very focused person who can be quite vulnerable sometimes so this was really nice for her. She's my sister and I love her, and she's got a heart of gold!
The celebration was lovely. We had a cake, decorations and photos. The staff were so supportive and even they went home with a bit of cake!
Donating is quite an honourable, humble and selfless thing to do in my opinion and it only takes an hour or so of your time.
On the same day there was a lady giving her 90th donation, Jean. We grabbed her and she was in the photos and she took some cake home too. We’re so many pints behind her but then we are younger than her, so we’ve got time to catch up hopefully! Our 50th donations are still an achievement and it was extra special because we made them together. It was very personal and intimate and a celebration.
My niece said she was going to donate blood because she was inspired by the pictures of her aunties at their 50th donations. If you can inspire one person, then that’s all we can ask for!
I remember an old NHS advert for giving blood which was really clever. Somebody was doing their shopping or getting on with their daily life and then the scene would flash to an operation or something that saved a person's life. It showed how your blood, unbeknown to you, was saving someone’s life. They’re always lovely adverts but this one made you realise that you go and give blood, it’s no big deal, and you go back to your daily routine and life, but at any time in the near future your blood is being used for an important reason. That advert has stayed with me as it’s such message.
Donating is quite an honourable, humble and selfless thing to do in my opinion and it only takes an hour or so of your time. I can’t say it any other way. I don’t understand why more people don’t do it. That simple act can save someone’s life.
The staff at sessions are very caring, very professional and are so friendly. They do an amazing job! I have every respect for them. You get to know the staff over the years. I still recognise some of them and I know Trudi does too!
The staff were fantastic at our 50th donations and very cooperative. I think they felt appreciated.”
"It was such a wonderful surprise to have the cake and balloons and to mark such a special donation with my sister too! She’s extremely kind and thoughtful and while I didn’t have a clue she’d planned all of this, it was something Kerry would naturally think of, to make this occasion even more memorable. I’m very lucky to have Kerry as my sister and felt very proud to donate side by side with her. This will be something I’ll treasure always.
I’ve always wondered why more people don’t give blood but also understand it’s not always possible. I would encourage anyone who has considered to do it, to give it a go – it’s a lovely way to show support and help to make a difference to others' lives. Getting a text to say where your blood has been donated is such a boost to know you have helped someone – life is short, so let’s try and help people whenever and however we can.
I love my sister with all my heart, family means the world to me – so Kerry, here’s to getting our 100th donation together!!!"