Regular blood donors were honoured by the South African Blood Service (SANBS) in Limpopo during its Donor for Life awards ceremony at a venue in the city on Friday evening.
The Igazi-Madi, Reverend John Pender Smith, James Blundell, Prof Anthon Heyns, Karl Landsteiner and Coombs Moreschi medals were awarded to donors who had respectively donated 50, 75, 100, 125, 150 and 175 units of blood in a lifetime. There were 28, 15, 13, 10, 3 and 4 recipients in the respective categories and Limpopo was the first zone to award medals in the newly introduced 75 unit category.
Among the achievers were two husband and wife teams, Carel and Sarie Schmahl and Antonio and Connie Vilar. The top donors with 175 units donated were Theunis Duvenhage and Marié Jansen van Rensburg, while Tertius Lombard received a medal for donating 150 units of blood. SANBS Limpopo Donor Relations Practitioner Dottie Pinn mentioned that, with four regular donations per year, it takes 44 years to donate 175 units of blood. “Taking into account that one unit of blood can save three lives, says a lot of the difference that our donors have made to the lives of others in need,” Pinn said.
Chairperson of the Limpopo Branch Donor Committee of the SANBS, Tjaart van Wyk congratulated the regular donors that received awards and said the SANBS cannot provide blood to the medical fraternity if it does not have regular donors that ensure that there is always an adequate supply of safe blood. “The role of the Blood Donor Committee in promoting blood drives and recruiting new members is highly esteemed and we pride ourselves with the fact that we are currently the largest blood donor committee of the SANBS country wide,” Van Wyk said.
Story & photos: BARRY VILJOEN