It’s not the reason he does it but each time Richard Miller gives blood, he swears it makes him feel physically better.
“I actually feel good doing it,” he says. “It’s kind of like an oil change.”
The actual reason he does it is because of the other way it makes him feel better.
“I like the idea of it,” he says. “It helps somebody else out. People need blood and it makes you feel good.
“I like helping people out. And blood is one way of doing it.”
On Dec. 10, Miller reached a milestone in his blood giving. The 67-year-old donated blood for the 150th time in the December blood donor clinic. It was the achievement of a goal he had set for himself.
“It’s a bucket list thing,” he says. “I wanted to make sure I did it before I get too old do it.”
He said it was a little difficult getting up to the 150 mark. When he first started doing this, you could only give blood four times a year.
The 150 was a specific target. He wasn’t just going for as many donations as he could.
“I wanted to set that goal,” he says. “Yeah. I’m a numbers guy. I don’t know, for some reason I set goals for myself and I try and achieve those goals.
“It’s just kind of fun. And it’s a good cause.”
He made sure he got to last December’s clinic because he wanted to reach his goal before another year came along.
Miller first gave blood when he was in his 20s in Vancouver. He was working at Dairyland in Burnaby, B.C. and the company held blood donor clinics in its cafeteria.
Miller and his wife had moved to the Lower Mainland from Campbell River not long before.
He grew up in the Campbell River area and got married here in 1968. But his wife was from Vancouver and so wanted to move back.
His wife passed away last year and Miller decided to move back to Campbell River where he has family. He and his wife bought a house in Vancouver in the early 70s for $22,000. He sold that house last year. You can do the math.
Miller still remembers the first time he gave blood. He was walking down the hallway at Dairyland and heading to his car. The clinic had been set up in the cafeteria and there was a poster on the wall with a picture of a little girl obviously in need of blood. The poster had her saying something like “Won’t you spare 20 minutes for me?”
Miller said he walked out to his car with the picture of the girl and the caption stuck in his head. He got to the car, stopped, sighed and thought, “It is only 20 minutes.”
So he went back and began a lifelong service as a blood donor.
Miller hadn’t planned to come back to Campbell River, although he and his wife did talk about retiring here. Then when she passed away, he felt it was the right time to do it.
To find when the next blood donor clinic is, go to www.blood.ca.