A blood donor, now an advocate.

He's 25 and a regular blood donor and has donated blood 34 times! Gwee Chia Hong shares how he began his blood donation journey when he was just 18.

How did you come to know about blood donation?
I first heard about blood donation when I was 18 from my elder sister who started a few years earlier. After listening to my sister on how donating blood can save lives, I decided to give it a try.

Tell us about your first donation experience.
I was quite nervous and did not know what to expect, so I got my sister to accompany me to the blood bank. The nurses were very friendly and patient. They reassured me throughout the process and made my first blood donation a very positive experience. From that day on, I became a passionate supporter of donating blood and as the saying goes, the rest is history.

You have been a regular blood donor all these while, how did you manage to keep this commitment going and make it a part of your life?
I hold dear to the conviction that every donation goes a long way to saving someone else's life. This keeps me going visit after visit.

Do your friends donate blood as well?

A few years later, I decided that I should go one step further and start encouraging my friends to donate as well. It was a tough sell as most of them were afraid of the needles and they required constant reassurances before they agreed to give it a try. Nevertheless, I'm glad to say that I managed to convince many friends to become life-long donors after much persuasions.

What would you say to fellow peers who have yet to overcome their fear?
There is always a first time for everything. Why not give it a try?

Were there any interesting things that occurred during your blood donation journey?
I once donated blood in Taiwan when I was there for my student exchange programme. The procedure is significantly different from Singapore. I even got a chance to take photo with the bag of blood that I had just donated. Therefore it was a really different experience for me.

Complete this sentence: I have always thought that life becomes meaningful when you give unconditionally.

Fill in the blank: I have conviction in my blood. Share life, give blood.

What is one thing every potential blood donor should know?
Donate only when you are feeling well =)

Is there anyone special you would like to donate blood with or to challenge?
I want to challenge myself to hit 200 donations one day.