Uniformed personnel Khairul Erwan Shah bin Haji Aziz from Berakas began donating blood after his three-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer and was under the care of Children’s Cancer Foundation (YASKA).
His son’s treatment included blood transfusions, and he survived cancer after battling the disease for several years and is now living in better health at the age of 13.
Khairul saw donating blood as a way to return the favour and save others in need. He also donates platelets which are very much needed for cancer patients, pregnant mothers and accident victims.
He started to donate blood when he joined the uniformed body. He would usually look out for blood donation drives and make time to drop by just to donate his blood. He also gets notifications from the BloodKad app for blood donations.
Except for platelet donation, which can only be done in Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital using a special machine, Khairul has been to numerous blood donation drives.
However, before yesterday, other commitments had made it impossible since the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions despite it being way past due for his next blood donation.
After receiving continuous notifications from BloodKad, he finally made time to drop by Mid Valley Shopping Centre’s blood donation drive and roll up his sleeve to help RIPAS Hospital’s blood bank replenish its blood supply and save lives.
“To donate blood, you especially need to watch your diet and avoid food that can risk your health such as oily food.
“Especially those who are able to donate platelets. They need to be watchful as it is not an easy process. If unwanted fats are present in the blood prior to donating, the person cannot proceed with the donation.”
Some 76 pints of blood were collected from donors during the campaign conducted in collaboration with the RIPAS Hospital Blood Donation Centre.
The drive was carried out as part of the line-up of activities of the shopping centre’s Year End Fair.
Meanwhile, BT Forwarding employee Peggy Lau along with her colleagues made their way to the event just to share their pints of blood.
“We decided to take our lunch at the office and rush over here as it is nearby to join in this life-saving initiative,” she said.
She added that she usually donates blood when the iron in her blood cells is average and that usually meets the two-month gap of donating blood after the last.
However this year, she missed a few as her last was in June at the International Convention Centre in Berakas.
She said it felt good to donate blood again after a long break due to pandemic restrictions and it brings her peace to know her blood helps to save lives.
Sharing her tip on how to stay healthy and be able to donate blood, Peggy, who has O-positive blood, said she runs at least three times a week and she usually does three kilometres when she runs at the Lambak Industry Area after work.
Housewife Siti Norijanah binti Haji Ahmad from Kampong Lambak Kiri said her way of staying healthy is through doing house chores.
She also makes sure to watch her food intake, and makes it a point to take medicine whenever she feels under the weather.
Yesterday was her second time donating blood after her siblings persuaded her as it also benefits her health and well-being, with her first being during her student years at Sultan Saiful Rijal Technical College several years ago.
Siti Norijanah was visiting Mid Valley Shopping Centre with a family member when she found out about the blood donation drive.
She spontaneously signed up to donate and was happy to learn she was eligible.
“To those who are afraid of needles, push that feeling aside. I know people say the needle is big but there is nothing to be afraid of.
“You will never know if you don’t give it a try. I myself used to be afraid but I was able to fight through it,” she said.