White Rock’s Anne Friendly and her husband Kevin Klop are celebrating a milestone next week, as it will mark the 175th and 150th time the couple has donated blood, respectfully.
Friendly started donating blood when she was 17 years old. Her father brought her into a blood donation clinic “kicking and screaming” when she was a teen, but she eventually learned that giving was a “family obligation that came naturally.”
“There was never any doubt,” Friendly told Peace Arch News on Sunday.
Klop, who is a universal donor with type O-negative blood, started donating when he was 20. Working as a paramedic in New York City exposed him to the reality of requirement for blood donations.
Being regular blood donors was, incidentally, an icebreaker for the couple.
Klop and Friendly first met at a wedding. While engaged in conversation, she looked down at his hands and said, “You have great veins, do you give blood?”
“That actually happened,” she told PAN. “When he said yes, I knew this was somebody who has a soul, has the same soul as I did.”
They got married 10 months later.
Although Friendly says she encourages her friends to donate blood, she is careful not to apply too much pressure as she’s aware some people have a fear of needles.
“Everyone has a reason not to give as well as to give,” she added.
Friendly and Klop are scheduled to donate at Canadian Blood Services’ mobile donation centre at H.T. Thrift Elementary on Sunday (Sept. 29.). A representative from Canadian Blood Services told PAN that there are about a dozen open appointments to fill at the event.
Friendly said the process, from sign up to walking out the door, takes about an hour.
“An hour of your time to save a life.”
Men can give blood once every two months, while women can give blood once every three months. More information on giving blood, and where to do so, can be found on the Canadian Blood Services website at www.blood.ca
“We do give money, but we say we’re going to be anonymous for money donations. But for blood, that’s something that we just need to get out there,” Friendly said, adding that both her and her husband are proud of their achievement.
The standard blood donation is approximately 450 mL, meaning that Friendly has donated about 79 litres of blood, while Klop has donated about 68 litres.