Life-long blood donor Layne Marshall takes a moment to promote the cause after being recognized for his committment and advocacy work in supporting blood donation by city council last week. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River’s Layne Marshal recognized for blood donation advocacy

ā€˜Iā€™m a certified cokie-pusher,ā€™ Marshal told council chambers

Layne Marshall has lost a lot of blood in his life.

Well, it wasn’t lost. It was given away. And he was always more than happy to do it.

Marshall has been donating blood for almost as long as he can remember. It came from his father – who was also a regular donor – but it also helped that back in college in the U.S., when he began donating, donors were paid $25 a pint for their donation.

But he certainly would have donated for free. In fact, he’s done it lots of times.

And last week at City Hall, Marshall was recognized by Campbell River City Council for his efforts over the years, not just sitting in the chair with a needle in his arm, but in getting other people into those chairs, too.

Marshall was also honoured last month in Ottawa at the Canadian Blood Services Honouring our Lifeblood 2018 event in Ottawa.

“The success of Canada’s blood system relies heavily on the support and commitment of volunteers like Layne,” Mayor Andy Adams says, “and it’s more than just giving blood. He’s done so much volunteering throughout numerous committees, commissions, service clubs, the works, in our community, and he still finds time to go and give a pint or two – I think significantly more than that.”

Marshall organizes donation events here in town and recruits volunteers and donors, and works tirelessly, Adams says, “to make sure no blood collection event sees an empty donor bed.”

“I got started doing this in 1965 as a donor,” Marshal says. “But what got me involved in the volunteering business here in town is when I went in to donate one time, and was turned back. They wouldn’t take my blood, and I decided, well, if I couldn’t give blood, I could give time.”

So he started volunteering at the clinics.

“I’m a certified cookie-pusher,” he says. “But after a year of doing that, I looked around and all the intake workers were sitting around twiddling their thumbs and all the phlebotomists were sitting around twiddling their thumbs, and all the volunteers were sitting around twiddling out thumbs,” and he made it his mission to change that.

“It’s been an honour to change that,” Marshal says. “The response from Campbell River has been incredible and it just keeps growing.”

He says his mission now is to just keep it growing. He’d like to see donations taken five days per week in Campbell River, rather than three half-days, “so that’s the next step,” he says.