Toronto retiree makes his 800th blood donation
Published Friday, February 15, 2019 7:47PM EST Last Updated Friday, February 15, 2019 7:47PM EST
A 72-year-old Toronto resident hit a milestone earlier this week, making his 800th donation at the Canadian Blood Services.
Skip McWatters has been donating blood since 1966 and has been a volunteer and ambassador with the Canadian Blood Services for more than five decades.
“I started and I haven’t stopped,” he told CTV News Toronto.
McWatters said there wasn’t a particular reason why he started to donate blood, but once he started he felt like he couldn’t stop. The retiree now donates the maximum six times a year.
“The satisfaction that I'm helping somebody makes you feel really good.”
Vinesha Ramsamy, a blood donation recipient and cancer survivor, said she is grateful for McWatters’ efforts.
“Throughout my cancer journey and treatment journey I have had over 200 blood transfusions, and that's over 400 or 450 people that have given just for me.”
The Canadian Blood Services said that McWatters has saved an “immeasurable” amount of lives with his donations.
“Knowing that it can take 50 blood donors to help someone who has been in a car accident; or five donors to help someone in cancer treatment, regular donors like him are relied upon to save many lives,” officials said.
McWatters is not Canada’s oldest blood donor, but he plans on trying to beat the record held by a woman in her mid-90s who has logged 70 years’ worth of blood donations.
“I could probably strive to do that, but I gotta to live to do that,” he said. “My next step is to aim for the 850 I guess.”
With files from CTV News Toronto's Michelle Dube