After receiving multiple life-saving blood transfusions when he was younger, a man from Taichung has donated nearly 600 units of blood over the past 20 years to show his gratitude.
At an event held by the Taichung Blood Center on Wednesday to recognize exceptional blood donors and groups, Yeh Shih-pin (葉世斌) said that when he was four years old, he had to undergo an operation for brain hemangioma, and when he was 16, he suffered second and third-degree burns on 24 percent of his body due to a fire at his house.
In both cases, he survived because of blood transfusions.
Yeh began donating blood on a regular basis at 17, which is the minimum age requirement for blood donation, he said, adding that he began by donating whole blood before switching to platelet donations six years ago.
Yeh said he donates blood every two weeks.
Due to his brain surgery, he is unable to operate a vehicle, so he commutes for 90 minutes from Daya District (大雅) to Fongyuan District (豐原) before spending two hours at the donation center for the apheresis procedure, Yeh said.
Yeh also has anemia, so in order to maintain the quality of his blood, he follows a strict diet, which involves avoiding foods that block iron absorption and increasing his iron intake, he said.
Despite these inconveniences, Yeh said he still enjoys the process.
On his commute to the blood donation center, he passes Miao Dong Night Market (廟東夜市) and Huludun Cultural Center, and often stops for a snack or to see an exhibition, he said, adding that he sees something new every time he donates blood.
Donating blood benefits the recipients and donors, Yeh said, adding that he wishes more people would donate blood.
The Taiwan Blood Services Foundation’s Taichung Blood Center last year collected 520,231 units of blood for use by hospitals and clinics in Taichung and Changhua and Nantou counties.
Zihnan Temple (紫南宮) in Nantou’s Jhushan Township (竹山) received first place in the event’s organization category for collecting 15,184 units of blood, Taichung’s Feng Chia University received first place in the school category for collecting 1,850 units of blood and the 10th Army Corps received first place in the military unit category for collecting 1,145 units of blood.
At the event, the center also recognized 1,066 individuals for donating blood by apheresis more than 100 times; and 2,105 individuals for donating whole blood more than 100 times.
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