162 pints and counting for dedicated Surrey blood donor
Not every hero wears a uniform. Case in point: Carl Hnatuk.
Dressed in a Canucks hat, T-shirt and blue jeans, Hnatuk, 49, sat down on March 14 to give his 162nd pint of blood, marking his 30th consecutive year as a blood donor and 486 lives potentially saved by his contributions.
“I’ve been rolling up my sleeves and giving blood like clockwork since I became a donor on April 16, 1984,” he said proudly. “I’d like to encourage more people to give blood like I do.”
When Hnatuk was 19, he and his father were walking by a blood drive which was set up at the then-Surrey Place Mall.
At the encouragement of his father, Hnatuk faced his fear of needles head-on, donating his first pint of blood.
Giving blood at the most frequently allowable 56-day intervals ever since, Hnatuk has become a familiar face to the Canadian Blood Services staff.
“He’s always a very pleasant, very positive person and always so willing to give,” said nurse Sandra Peterson, who has been working at the clinic for the past six years. “It’s nice to see that there are people that are able to come consistently and that’s their way of giving to people.”
Hnatuk seemed to be much more comfortable giving blood than he was 30 years ago, joking around and pointing to a spot on his forearm as clinic staff prepared his arm for the needle.
“Sometimes when they poke me, they do it right here. It’s a tender spot, so it kind of hurts, but I’m used to it now,” he said, laughing.
The Surrey Blood Donor Clinic at 15285 101 Ave. is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and at the same time every second Saturday. To book an appointment, visit www.blood.ca or call 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283).