Man makes 100th blood donation at Caledonia pop-up community clinic

CALEDONIA—Bob Sheldrick has helped save countless lives.

Sheldrick, who lived in Caledonia for 40 years before recently moving to Port Dover, was working as a mechanic in the City of Hamilton’s transportation department when he first rolled up his sleeve to be a blood donor.

CALEDONIA—Bob Sheldrick recently made his 100th blood donation to Canadian Blood Services at a pop-up clinic in Caledonia. —Submitted photo.

“Hamilton had a blood donor blitz on back in the 1980s,” Sheldrick recalled, adding that at the time, the Red Cross – now Canadian Blood Services – would send a van to the bus depot to pick up workers and take them over to the clinic.

“That got me going,” he said, noting that donating was “a feel-good thing, certainly,” but added with a chuckle that it was also “a chance to get a little bit of time off work.”

When Canadian Blood Services started offering pop-up community clinics in Caledonia, Sheldrick became a regular donor in town. He continued to give throughout the years, not even letting the Covid pandemic slow him down – though during that time, he and other donors had to travel to the permanent clinic in Ancaster to contribute.

Advertisement

 

Advertisement
Web-Ad-copy

 

After he moved to Port Dover, he started going to the pop-up clinics in Norfolk County instead, but at the end of May, he decided to come back to his old stomping grounds for a special milestone donation.

“For the 100th, I figured I’d come back to my hometown, see all my buddies,” Sheldrick said.

Tammy Maroudas, Community Development Manager for Canadian Blood Services, offered her congratulations to Sheldrick.

“Bob’s commitment and dedication are outstanding. Through his donations, he has improved many lives; he’s truly an inspiration, and a prime example of how one person can make a significant difference and be part of Canada’s lifeline.”

Maroudas noted that blood donations can be used to treat patients with a variety of injuries, diseases, treatment needs, etc.

For instance, a person with leukemia might need up to eight units – or donations – of blood a week for their treatments. Meanwhile, a person who has been in a collision and suffered major physical trauma might need up to 50 units of blood.

“Life can change in seconds, and when you or someone you love may need blood urgently, we expect it to be in our local hospitals,” Maroudas said.

“There’s no substitution for donating blood; there’s not an artificial blood product that we can use. It comes from donors like Bob making a huge commitment and coming out.

Maroudas noted that the whole process of donating blood takes about an hour, from the time a donor walks in the door until when they’re leaving. The actual amount of time a needle is in a person’s arm is only about eight to 12 minutes; the rest of the time is paperwork, checking that a potential donor is healthy and able to give, and taking a few minutes to rest afterward.

“In one hour, you’re saving multiple lives. I can’t think of anything better to do in that one hour,” Maroudas said.

Whether you’re an established donor who hasn’t given in a little while, or you’re a brand-new potential donor, she encouraged everyone to book an appointment.

There is a permanent clinic located in Ancaster, or, like Sheldrick, donors can make use of the pop-up community clinics, which are available on various dates throughout Haldimand, Norfolk, and beyond.
Booking an appointment, as well as finding out more information about donating, can be done online at Blood.ca, or by calling 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283).

Maroudas urged anyone who is interested in donating to reach out – even if they’re not sure they’d be able to.

“Oftentimes, people think they’re not eligible to donate. I always say, don’t count yourself out. We regularly update our eligibility criteria for donating blood,” she said.

Even if a person ultimately isn’t able to be a donor themselves, they can still help the cause, Maroudas said, by encouraging others to sign up to donate, by volunteering at a clinic, or by making a financial contribution to Canadian Blood Services.