FOR Bill Smail, 70, giving blood has been part of his life.
Mr Smail, of Warrnambool, started giving blood 50 years ago at the age of 20 in Scotland.
He continued the habit after emigrating to Australia and this month notched up his 102nd blood donation.
While self-effacing about his own contribution, Mr Smail was proud that one of his daughters, Roslyn, 36, had also become a regular donor.
He said Roslyn was catching up to his tally because she donated plasma that allowed her to visit the Blood Bank more often than he could for his donations of whole blood.
Mr Smail is one of 17 Warrnambool area residents who will receive an award for reaching a milestone blood donation in the past 12 months.
He will receive an award during next week’s National Blood Donor Week.
Mr Smail said giving blood was “no hassle” and he was happy to do so because “you never know when you or someone you love will need blood”.
Blood Service spokeswoman Sarah McKendrick said Mr Smail’s lifesaving donations had potentially improved the lives of thousands of Australians, including new mothers, cancer patients and people undergoing emergency surgery.
“Every one of Mr Smail’s donations help to save three lives, but his contribution has stretched so much further,” Ms McKendrick said.
“Blood donors change more than just the three lives they help to save with each blood donation.
“A donation of blood has a ripple effect, from the person receiving the blood, right through to their entire family and their friends” she said.
“When you give a blood donation, you make an amazing difference not only to the recipient but also to their loved ones.
“Mr Smail is just one person but every donation he gives makes an amazing difference to the lives of countless others.”
She said next week’s National Blood Donor Week was a celebration of Australia’s 500,000 blood donors who together made more than 1.3 million donations during the past year.
To become a blood donor, people can call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au