By Taylah Eastwell
An Vietnam veteran is celebrating his 200th blood and plasma donation, having rolled up his sleeves to help save lives since 1978.
Daryl Bristowe, an Emerald RSL member, celebrated the milestone on Friday 23 April at Ringwood’s Red Cross Lifeblood donation centre.
For Mr Bristowe, now in his 70’s, the opportunity to help save lives is what drives him to continue giving.
“There is a whole stack of things they do with plasma but the things that I care about are helping kids with burns, kids with cancer and young ladies who may have birthing problems or bleeding,” Mr Bristowe said.
“I have seen a person shot in Vietnam and there were 10 wound dressings, and I still dream about it. That’s why I give plasma, to help the kids,” he said.
Mr Bristowe encourages others who are considering giving blood to jump in and get involved.
“I think it’s fantastic. It helps everybody, and let’s be honest, you could be helping yourself. I think it’s a great thing to do, a lot of people don’t like doing it but it’s not painful, and they feed you really well,” Mr Bristowe said.
Mr Bristowe began giving when he was working across the road from a Peter’s ice creamery that opened up one of its rooms for a mobile blood bank in the late 70’s. Since then, he has given in Upwey, Glen Waverley and in the city, but the atmosphere of the Ringwood clinic is what keeps him going back.
“When you go there every fortnight, you form a bit of a friendship, I’ve got their phone number and they’ve got mine and they will ring me up and say are you coming in, I enjoy it and think it’s an important thing to do,” he said.
“Now I’ve got to get up to 250,” he laughed.