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Graham reaches milestone of 100 blood donations

A selfless Driffield man joined an exclusive club as he donated his 100th pint of blood.

Graham Lilly reached his century at Driffield Showground on Thursday 1st September.

The 67-year-old first donated back in 1977 and encouraged others to do likewise, stating it takes just an hour out of the day a few times per year.

Graham, who has lived in the Capital of the Wolds for 24 years, vowed to continue his contributions for as long as he can.

At last week’s appointment, I was told that my blood will be used in a baby unit and I cannot think of many better places for it to go than that.

GRAHAM LILLY

“For me, it’s simply about knowing that I am doing something to help someone somewhere,” he told the Wolds Weekly.

“At last week’s appointment, I was told that my blood will be used in a baby unit and I cannot think of many better places for it to go than that.

“I first started donating back in 1977 when a friend took me.

“I remember my mother needed a blood transfusion years ago and I wanted to help then, but I was too young at the time, so it stems from there.

“When people learn what I do, they say ‘good for you’, but I come back with, ‘yes, but why don’t you do it too?’.

“It’s no hardship, it only takes an hour out of your day and I tend to have three appointments a year, usually 12-16 weeks apart.

“Following each appointment, I actually feel better in myself and rejuvenated.

“I enjoy doing it, but in all honesty, I never expected to reach 100 pints.

“However, I will carry on as long as I am physically able to do as I like to help out where I can.”

Graham is in the minority with only one in 100 people who give blood reaching 100 donations.

His blood type is also O-, meaning he is in one of under eight per cent of the UK population in that category.

Graham added: “Lots of people are organ donors and it is often talked about, encouraging people to sign up.

“However, there really isn’t enough blood donors either.

“It’s fairly simple to sign up, either online or over the phone.”

Graham will be recognised for his efforts with a ceremony later in the year, having previously been praised on reaching other milestones such as 25, 50 and 75 pints.

Every blood donation made can save up to three lives.

A spokesperson for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We’d like to thank Graham for his incredible dedication and commitment.

“He is part of a very special club that saves and improves lives.

“Out of all the people who give blood, just one in a 100 will reach 100 donations.

“We always need new donors to replace those people who can no longer donate for reasons such as age, ill health and pregnancy.

“We especially need younger donors, male donors and donors from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

“Giving blood is amazing – and you will save lives.”

Become a blood donor by registering today and booking an appointment using the GiveBloodNHS app, visiting blood.co.uk or calling 0300 123 23 23.

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