Lower Chittering blood donor celebrates saving 1800 lives

Lower Chittering resident Theodore Bekkers has celebrated more than 600 blood donations. Pic: Jessica Willet
Lower Chittering resident Theodore Bekkers has celebrated more than 600 blood donations. Pic: Jessica Willet

LOWER Chittering resident Theodore Bekkers has celebrated more than 600 blood donations for National Blood Donor Week.

The 75-year-old gave his first donation just three weeks after turning 21.

He said his mother convinced him to start.

“My mother used to organise the bus for everyone from Northam to travel together to donate and she encouraged me to donate,” he said.

“Back then you had to be 21 to donate, so three weeks after I turned 21 I gave my first donation, and I haven’t looked back.”

Last week Mr Bekkers gave his 615th donation, saving 1800 lives since his first donation in 1964.

He said donating blood or plasma was something you could easily do to make a difference to so many lives.

“Donating blood gives you a nice warm glow. Everyone should do it, it’s easy and it doesn’t hurt,” he said.

Blood Service spokeswoman Jessica Willet said the national week was a chance to celebrate all the donors across Australia.

“Every 24 minutes across Australia, a bloody legend donates blood and saves lives,” she said.

“With blood only lasting 42 days, we need a constant supply of blood donations, which means we need more people to donate blood more often.”

After 54 years of donating, Mr Bekkers is now looking towards his target of 700 donations.

“I don’t give up on things easily and I’m already working towards my target of 700,” he said.

“I would encourage everyone to donate because you never know when you or someone you love needs blood, and it’s a wonderful feeling.”