Bruce’s lifesaving legacy: 655 blood donations and counting

Bruce de Graaf achieving a lifesaving feat like not many before him.

CAMDEN Haven resident Bruce de Graaf has reached a remarkable milestone achieved by only 28 other Australians, making his 655th blood donation, a journey that began in 1979.

Bruce’s dedication to donating blood started with a family challenge when his Auntie Mary invited him to join her in donating blood at a mobile bus set up at Brookvale Oval in Sydney.

This initial act of generosity sparked a lifelong commitment.

Inspired to out-donate his aunt, Bruce has consistently contributed to the nation’s blood supply, driven by encounters with those whose lives depend on such donations.

One poignant moment occurred while Bruce was at work, wearing his blood bank donor lapel pin.

A man approached him, praising his efforts and sharing a personal story: he suffered from thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder necessitating regular transfusions.

The man’s gratitude was profound, underscoring the real-life impact of Bruce’s selflessness.

“Money cannot buy what we can give,” Bruce emphasised to News Of The Area, reflecting on the invaluable gift of life that blood donors provide.

His story is a powerful testament to the importance of regular donations, a message he hopes will inspire others to contribute.

“I would like to point out that I am no one special, certainly not a legend,” Bruce will tell you despite his amazing efforts.

The need for blood donations in Australia is critical.

The Department of Health and Aged Care reports that only about three percent of Australians donate blood, despite one in three needing blood or blood products at some point in their lives.

To meet the demand, more than 29,000 donations are required weekly, with each donation capable of saving up to three lives.

Residents of Camden Haven interested in making a life-saving donation can visit the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood website or their shopfront at 14/6 Clarence Street, Port Macquarie.

Bruce’s extraordinary commitment serves as a powerful reminder of the impact one individual can have, encouraging others to consider the profound difference they can make through regular blood donations.


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