Kyneton local saving lives with 700th blood donation

Kyneton local Paul Ruff has the distinct honour of having potentially saved more than 2000 lives.
Paul made his 700th blood donation last Tuesday at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service’s Melbourne CBD Donor Centre.
He is just the fifth Victorian to reach this milestone and the 18th Australian … making him part of a pretty exclusive club!
Each blood donation can save up to three lives and plasma donations are also used to make up to 18 different life-changing medicines, from treating serious burns and cancer, to protecting people with brain disorders or immune conditions.
Paul makes a trip to Melbourne every fortnight to donate blood, and he has a very personal reason for doing so.
“Yeas ago, when I worked at Telecom, you could get the afternoon off after going to the blood bank,” he laughed.
“I started donating when I was 18, in 1970, but then later in life, just before my 49th birthday, the blood bank told me I had high blood pressure and if I didn’t get medication I could have a stroke and die.
“So, as they say, donate blood and save a life, but who knows, it might be your own!”
Paul has also been an advocate for getting school kids to donate.
“They can start donating when they are about 16, just to get them involved in the program and to get them to experience living within the limits of being a donor,” he said.
Blood service spokesperson Erin Lagoudakis said one in three Australians would need blood or a blood product in their lifetime, yet only one in 30 currently donated.
“We hope others will be inspired by Paul’s incredible contributions and take up blood or plasma donation as a life-saving habit,” Ms Lagoudakis said.
“On behalf of the blood service and patients across Australia who have benefited from his 700 donations, I’d like to say congratulations and a very massive thank you to Paul, for his incredible generosity.”

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