Son's malaria scare gives Derby mum Mavis another reason to help save lives of others
IT was almost 10 years after she first started giving blood that Mavis Gilmore was reminded why it was such an important thing to do.
Her son, Chris, was serving with the Royal Engineers in Kenya when he was stuck down with malaria – and needed a transfusion.
"It's always been one thing that's kept me going to give blood – because I know how important it is," said Mavis.
"I know it wasn't my blood Chris was receiving but somebody out there gave blood which made my son well again.
Cheap Van Insurance(Commercial & Private Use) - Contact Insure365...View details
Cheap Van Insurance(Commercial & Private Use) - Contact Insure365 01782 898188, Free Legal Expenses Cover Included at £25.00!
Terms: 1 Voucher Per Customer
Contact: 01782 898188
Valid until: Monday, June 24 2013
"And, if their blood can do that for my son, then my blood can do it for someone else."
Mavis, 64, became a first-time donor about 20 years ago after being introduced to it by her daughter.
Since then, she has given almost 40 pints – an effort which is being applauded by the Derby Telegraph's Save a Life campaign.
We have teamed up with NHS Blood and Transplant to find 500 new donors in Derbyshire in the run-up to Christmas.
Mavis said: "Whenever I go to give blood, I know everybody is going to be really friendly and smiling.
"That's down to the fact we all go because we want to go – and we know we're doing something good."
Mavis, of Cairngorm Drive, Sinfin, said her daughter, Wendy, 39, first gave blood while away at university and continued to do so when she was back in Derby.
She said: "This was about the early 1990s and Wendy had decided to go to a session while she was at home.
"She said to me: 'Why don't you go to it too?' and I thought: 'Well I've never been to one – why not?'
"I remember feeling quite apprehensive at the time and thinking: 'Oh gosh, what if it hurts?' but it went absolutely fine – no problems whatsoever.
"And I realised pretty quickly how little time it takes up and much good it can do, so I just kept going."
It was then in 2000 that Chris, now 36, needed his transfusion.
Mavis said: "I'd always been trying to go fairly regularly to give blood but sometimes you can't always go to sessions, so you just try to go when you can.
"I never really needed a reason to go but what happened to Chris is certainly one thing which has continued to motivate me.
"His blood transfusion saved his life."
Mavis said, by giving blood every four months when she can, she often finds herself seeing the same people at donation sessions.
She said: "It's quite nice really, because you sort of get to know people and find yourselves saying hello to them.
"I also noticed that you start seeing people you haven't seen for years – like people who you used to work with – and it is a nice opportunity to chat to them.
"It's always a nice experience going to give blood – both while you're there and then when you think about what your donation does."