Growing together, a donor´s personal story, by Ricky YU Wai-kin from Hong Kong

如需中文文本,請點擊此處 (For Chinese text, please click here:) 紅十字會輸血服務中心六十週年特刊_Ricky

“We can’t get blood from a stone, please give a little of yours!” This old promotion slogan of the Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service from the 1980s was what drove me to join the ranks of blood donors!

I knew there is no substitute for blood when I was a pupil, so I have always wanted to be a blood donor since a very young age. But my family was against it. My chance finally came on October 13, 1993, as I walked past the TsimShaTsui Donor Centre, I plucked up the courage and completed my first blood donation. I also registered as a bone marrow donor. It all went very smoothly, but it was a shame that I didn’t have my camera with me, or I would have asked the staff to take a picture of me with my first packet of blood. I also encouraged my family, friends and colleagues to join me to give blood and save lives.

In 2005, I was invited to the Annual Donor Award Ceremony. Every time I see my 25-time Donor Award, I pledge to do my bit for others by donating blood regularly for the rest of my life!
2006 was a very meaningful year for me. On September 12 that year, I got a call from the Hong Kong Bone Marrow Donor Registry, telling me that my white blood cell tissue matched with one of the patients. And after thorough review, I was told that I could donate my bone marrow to help her.

I found out from the staff that the recipient was a young girl. It gave me some comforts to learn that she didn’t suffer from cancer, but her disease could only be treated by bone marrow transplant. My family was quite concerned about the operation, but after the doctor told me that there wouldn’t be any side effects or lasting impacts, nor would there be any scars or stitches, I made up my mind to donate my bone marrow.

The operation was scheduled for December that year, during the interim months, I maintained a regular diet and rest routine so I could take the operation in the best possible shape. I found out later that between unrelated people, the chance of finding a match in white blood cell tissue is only 1/5000 to I/ 10000, so it must have been our destiny. I finally met with the recipient, an I I-year-old girl, on the 25th anniversary celebration of the Hong Kong Bone Marrow Donor Registry in 20 I I. I sincerely wish her health, happiness and good fortune.

During the bone marrow transplant, I met a doctor who has donated blood over 300 times. He encouraged me to be a component donor. Since 2008, I visited the headquarters of the Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service to donate component blood. Subsequently, I also became a volunteer helper there in my spare time.

I hope more people recognize that blood donation helps patients. As the Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service 2011 slogan says, “more blood, more life.” Last but not least, I would like to thank the staff at the Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service for their efforts to help the entire community!