Close on 90 blood donors from Donegal and South Leitrim gathered in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny, on Friday night last to be presented with special pins to mark 50+ blood donations.
The special landmark occasion is held every three or four years and is an important milestone in honouring these people who give blood three or four times every year.
Chairman of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service, Professor Anthony Staines, warmly congratulated all the recipients of pins and had a word of praise for each donor as he presented them with their pin.
Professor Staines, in his address, said those receiving their awards were special people and were so important in providing a necessary ingredient for the health of the country.
He outlined how he himself had needed the service of blood transfusion when he went through a serious operation some 17 years ago.
“Without you I would not be here,” said Professor Staines, who went on to outline the great need for more donations, especially this summer. He asked that as well as remaining a donor, if they could encourage a friend or two to donate, then they would be doing a great service.
Also on the night, special guest Nikki Bradley from Letterkenny gave a moving address to the gathering of her health battles and her need for blood transfusions during those health issues.
Nikki, a columnist with the Donegal News, was given a standing ovation after her address in which she outlined how she was diagnosed with bone cancer when she was 16 and still a student at Loreto, Letterkenny.
Battle goes on
While now cancer free, her health battle goes on, but her outlook and enthusiasm for life is inspirational.
The donors who were presented with their pins were also presented with a photo of the presentation at the end of the night to mark the occasion.
Among the donors presented were a number of top sportsmen.