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Blood donor hits milestone for son

John Edwards, who lost his son to cancer, has made a milestone donation in his memory.

John Edwards with Donor Carer, Gracie Aldridge
John Edwards with Donor Carer, Gracie Aldridge

A blood donor, who lost his son to cancer, has made a milestone donation in his memory.

John and Carol Edwards know first hand how crucial donations of blood and platelets can be.

Their son Ian was just 29 years old when he passed away from lymphoma in 2010.

Yet, without transfusions of red cell and platelets, he could have lost the battle much sooner.

Inspired by his son’s diagnosis, Dr John Edwards became a regular blood and platelet donor and this week, he gave his 250th donation, at the Birmingham Blood Donor Centre.

The 67 year-old, a retired biology teacher from Shirley, said: “Ian received several units of red cells and a few of platelets as well as having a stem cell transplant.

I remember one morning in 2010 when I was donating blood in Birmingham and he was receiving three units of blood at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital that same morning. It really brought it home how important supplies of blood are.”

Since his son’s death, John has also set up The Ian Edwards Cancer Break Trust which has so far given out over £35,000 to help patients in the West Midlands suffering from cancer to take a morale-boosting holiday or short break with their families.

Shailesh Mistry, lead donor relations manager for the West Midlands, said: “What John has achieved so far is just brilliant.”

 

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