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Diss grandmother gives 100 pints of blood and leaves selfless lifesaving legacy

Having donated blood for half a century, a grandmother from Diss has reached a rather special milestone.

Sandra Rice, of Willbye Avenue, began giving blood in her twenties. Fifty years later, she has donated her 100th pint of blood.

The 73-year-old said: “I always wanted to donate even when I was young, but I never lived somewhere that you could, so I started when I moved to Diss.

Sandra has been giving blood for 50 years (39311515)
Sandra has been giving blood for 50 years (39311515)

“You’re allowed to do three donations each year, but if you’re ill, you have to miss out, so I probably could have done a few more.

“If you can help someone by giving them their life, that’s the best gift you can give, isn’t it? They say you can save three people’s lives with each pint you give.”

This legacy of life saving is much more than just an individual effort, with Mrs Rice’s family following in her footsteps.

Daughters Davina Riches, 55, and Lavina Wootton, 52, who both live in Diss, have given more than 40 pints each, while two of her three grandchildren have also given blood.

My brother and sister gave blood, so we’ve always been a family that wants to help people,” said Mrs Rice. “I certainly intend to keep going for as long as I can.

“I thought I might not get to 100 because it got cancelled twice this year due to the virus, as they weren’t taking people over 70, but then I think they got short.”

Those who give blood first have their finger pricked to check their iron levels and ensure that it is safe for them to donate.

Around one pint of blood is taken each time, with men able to donate four times each year, and women three times.

There are no ill effects afterwards and donors do not need to do anything to help their body replace the blood.

Mrs Rice said: “I’m absolutely fine afterwards and there’s no negative side at all.”

She added: “The main reason I wanted to let the Diss Express know was to encourage other people at the moment.

“People will definitely be staying away, so hopefully it will get them thinking about coming back.”

To find out more about giving blood, click here.

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