Blood donor Lillie celebrates 100 not out over half-century

Lillie Emond of Hawick has donated 100 pints of blood, seen here with her 100 donations award.
Lillie Emond of Hawick has donated 100 pints of blood, seen here with her 100 donations award.

A ROBERTON Place pensioner who has spent more than half-a-century giving blood has attended a special ceremony to mark her 100th donation.

Lillie Emond, 71, was invited to a special ceremony at Ediburgh’s City Chambers on Monday evening in recognition of her dedication to the blood donor service – which has been unwavering for the past 52 years.

She told the Hawick News: “I started giving blood when I was 18 because I felt it was a worthwhile thing to do, and have been going it ever since. Due to my blood type being resus negative, which is quite rare, it is the kind that can be given to anyone in an emergecny, so I just feel it is important. And I think if you can give something to help other people then you should.”

Mrs Emond, a former Murray Brothers employee, says when she first started giving blood the guidelines only allowed two donations a year, but once the rules were relaxed she has tried to donate as much as possible. She said: “There have been the odd occasions I’ve been turned away after the initial test which everyone is given, but, thankfully, I’ve been fortunate and kept well and been able to give blood several times a year. And if I’ve missed a Hawick session, I’ve gone along to donate in Galashiels and Peebles. My 100th donation was actually in Melrose.”

And although there is an age limit of 75 on giving blood, Mrs Emond says she is still going strong and intends to donate for as long as she is allowed. “There is an age assessment they give me before each session and I intend to keep going as long as I can,” she said.

“I’ve never had any friends or family who have required a blood transfusion but it is such a good thing to do, it means a lot to me to help.”

And alluding to the importance of supporting the donor service, she added: “It is something everyone should try as it really isn’t difficult, and I always say I just go for the chocolate biscuit afterwards!”

A Blood Transfusion Service spokesperson commented: “Reaching 100 donations is quite an achievement and Mrs Emond has obviously been giving blood for quite some time. We value such a commitment and it is so important that we have such support from people like her.”