By VINNIE RODI

MILDURA’S Malcolm White, PICTURED, is a man who understands the importance of giving.

Mal, 68, has been regularly donating blood for the past 50 years, and on Monday made his 200th donation through the Mildura Donor Centre – the highest ever recorded by a Mildura resident.

A rather chuffed Mal said that he had started donating blood at 18, and after realising how important the act was, soon made an effort to donate on a regular basis.

To put Mal’s achievement into perspective, one blood donation is believed to have the capacity to save three lives. In Mal’s case, his constant act of giving has been a potential life-saver for 600 people.

“My main motivation to continually donate is that it only takes a short time… and you’re doing the right thing by others in the community,” he said.

“I really appreciate the fact that it’s a voluntary and unpaid task that anyone can do, and it makes a big difference.”

Originally from Melbourne, Mal moved to Mildura three years ago alongside his wife, with the couple being regular visitors to the area prior to the move.

It was while living in Melbourne as a young man that Mal made the first of his 200 blood donations.

“A mate of mine dropped by on his way to donating blood, and asked if I wanted to tag along, so I went with him,” he said. “I soon started work at my first job, and after speaking to my boss I decided that I wanted to donate as often as I could.

“That was 50 years ago, and it’s still something I make an effort to do on a regular basis.”

People are only allowed to donate blood four times a year, however, in some areas, like Melbourne, donors can also contribute plasma and platelets on a more regular basis.

“Unfortunately the technology to donate platelets and plasma is not available here in Mildura, however, I know they are pushing to secure a machine.”

Mal said that the need for more people to donate blood struck home a few years ago, when his family welcomed a grandson.

“I had given plasma the night before he was born, and unfortunately he ended up in the ICU, and needed plasma,” he said. “While he didn’t receive the plasma I had donated, it really brought home how important it was that we donate.”

Mal said that the Mildura Donor Centre was constantly calling on people to consider becoming blood donors.

“I enjoy talking to others about the process while encouraging them to consider putting their hand up and getting involved,” he said.

Those interested in giving blood can visit the Mildura Donor Centre, located at 168A Eighth Street.