DERRICK Fry rolled up his sleeve for the 175th time Wednesday, marking more than 35 years of giving blood.
Fry, 71, a North Vancouver resident, made his milestone donation Wednesday at a Canadian Blood Services mobile clinic at North Lonsdale United Church.
Fry made his first donation, after being encouraged by a co-worker. "He no longer gives, but I've continued it on," he says. Fry was inspired to continue giving a few years later following a heart bypass operation his father endured, requiring a lot of donated blood. "It made me feel good (that) I covered my dad's blood donations . . . . and I just kept it up," he says.
Fry says what he takes away from giving is "personal satisfaction." He's aware of other North Shore residents who likewise show continued support to Canadian Blood Services, including a fellow Royal Canadian Legion branch 118 member who just reached his 100th donation.
"It becomes a personal thing," says Fry. "Like some people who donate their time on a very regular basis, it becomes personal, it becomes part of their lifestyle."
Fry plans to continue giving blood for as long as he's eligible.
"I would like to hit 200, that would take me another four and a half years," he says.
Fry encourages others to become avid blood donors. "It's one way to spend a couple of hours every two months helping people who will never know that you helped them until they receive blood," he says.
Representatives of Canadian Blood Services are calling on community members to give blood this holiday season. They've partnered with Food Banks B.C. for the third annual Bleed and Feed campaign, which encourages local blood donors to also bring non-perishable food items for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. Canadian Blood Services hopes to attract 14,000 donors, or "miracle workers," before the campaign's end on Jan. 2, 2013.
The next North Vancouver blood donor clinic is being held Dec. 26 at North Lonsdale United Church, located at 3380 Lonsdale Ave., from 1 to 8 p.m. To book a donation appointment, visit blood.ca or call 1-888 2 DONATE (1-888236-6283). Donated food items will be collected until Dec. 31 in specially marked Bleed and Feed food collection boxes located in the front waiting area of blood donor clinics.
For more information on local food banks, visit foodbanksbc.com.