Red Cross Memories: Alan Lau

I grew up in an environment that was conducive to donating blood, but I only became inspired to do so after my late mother suffered a stroke.

From a young age, I've been accompanying my father to community centres where he donated blood. My mother was a former nurse and even encouraged me to donate blood while I was in the army in the 80s. Yet, that did not leave as strong of an impression on me to embark on a life-long passion for donating blood. The turning point came in 1991, when her stroke occurred.

Recalling what her hospital doctor said to me back then, "Your mum requires blood donations to help save her life. There are people who need blood more than you do. Like your mum, these people are dependent on living donors to survive. Hopefully, one day you will also donate blood like them too."

It was from then onwards that I started donating blood on a regular basis after finishing my studies in 1993, as a tribute to my mother. I remembered the times when she required blood transfusions to keep her alive. I witnessed the chilling images of other patients at hospitals with blood drips. Although she didn't survive the stroke in the end, it finally dawned on me that if nobody had stepped forward to donate blood, neither she nor these people would have stood a chance.

Eventually I became a Champion of Champions two years ago, having donated blood for over 157 times.

I can draw some parallels between my job as a police officer and blood donation. Both are meaningful and altruistic. Both involve some sacrifice and both require certain degree of personal discipline and devotion.

I hope my sharing can encourage you to take action. Both you and I can donate blood."