By Marike Carli

In a world with countless traditions and values, one that stands out for me above others is, the spirit of giving. We feature the theme ‘Giving is in my Blood’ this September. By donating blood and saving lives, you give hope to generations to come. You are not just saving a patient’s life but could have also added value to their community, giving a family the chance to live with their loved one.

When I read stories about our donors, one thing that pops up again and again is that that as children grow up, they witness their parents’ dedication to blood donation, and this has a great effect on them. It’s not only 30 minutes every two months; it is moulding and shaping our future life-savers. For many children, the act of kindness is contagious, and many will follow in their parents’ footsteps. They will become the next generation to inspire and, through that, creating generations of lifelong life-savers.

I grew up with a father who donated blood. I remember sitting at the dinner table, and my Dad would tell us that he donated blood at his work. This had a great impact on me. My Dad was a very, very busy man, yet he still made time to do something that was self-less. His commitment and compassion resonated with me. He instilled that spirit of giving in my heart, and I knew that I wanted to follow in his footsteps one day. I wanted to be a life-saver too.

Today, my Dad continues his life-saving journey; he is 74 years old and eagerly goes to N1 City every three months to save lives. I’m proud to say that I overcame my fear of needles, and even though I was deferred the first time I tried to donate, I didn’t let that get the best of me. I’m a proud blood donor, and I hope to one day pass this part of my values and identity on to my children and their children.

We hope that this message will inspire everyone to donate blood and save lives, and in doing so, it will become part of their values, identity and, ultimately, their heritage. “Giving is in my blood” is more than just a campaign; it is a call to embrace the values of compassion, kindness and selflessness. It’s about inspiring others and celebrating that saving lives runs through our veins.