Sixty years ago John Rodis donated blood for the first time. Now, he has just donated blood for the 400th time, possibly saving 1200 lives.
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The Dubbo local, who is a familiar face on the bowling green, made his first blood donation in May, 1963. He was 18 at the time and was an apprentice electrician working on an upgrade to the blood donor centre at Orange Hospital.
"I was reading information about donating blood and asked Sister Coulson, 'the vampire lady' who was in charge, what was involved," he said.
"I was healthy and thought it was a great idea to help other people who may need blood to save their lives and also to be able to find out my blood type as well as donors were desperately required.
"So I started that day and was given a small cup of orange juice and some iron tablets. I chewed one and that was the first and last iron tablet I have ever taken."
Since then, Mr Rodis has donated whole blood 202 times and donated plasma 198 times. He has given blood in Orange, Dubbo, Darwin, Tamworth, Perth, Miranda and Wollongong, meaning his blood has helped patients all around Australia.
"The reason I now donate I could say is because of the milkshakes, cheese and biscuits and chocolates... but seriously, it's because I realise how important blood and plasma is to save lives," he said.
"I know how desperately it is needed and I have the time and health, so why not. Also reading about the people who have been saved or require regular donations to maintain a reasonable life.
"Just recently being notified and made aware of our great Australian swimmer Michael Klim requiring a lot of plasma motivates me to keep going."
Lifeblood spokesperson Brian Bruce said Mr Rodis is an "incredible example" of someone making a meaningful difference to people who need blood and their loved ones.
"One blood donation can save up to three lives, so John has saved an incredible 1,200 lives over the years. He is a superhero," said Mr Bruce.
"While 400 donations is not possible for everyone, the good news is every single donation counts. We are so grateful for each and every donor."
Mr Bruce said more than 500 donors are needed in Dubbo over the next month to keep up with the demand for blood and blood products. Lifeblood are encouraging the community to follow Mr Rodis's lead and book in to make a donation.
"I think it's a good thing to do so that you might save someone's life and one day you might save your own," Mr Rodis said.
"Take a visit to the local donor centre, see what is involved and ask the staff and donors at the centre questions. I tell people the worst part is the paperwork and interview, but it is an enjoyable experience and the staff are very friendly, happy like family."
Cancer treatment, emergency surgery, road trauma and bleeding during childbirth are some of the most common uses for donated blood in Australia.
Plasma can be used in 18 different life-giving ways including creating medicines and in treatments for medical conditions including liver disease and immune deficiencies.
To book an appointment to donate blood call 13 14 95, or book online at lifeblood.com.au or on the DonateBlood app.
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