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Hohhot man aiding society drop by drop

By YUAN HUI in Hohhot and CHENG SI | China Daily | Updated: 2021-04-28 09:59

Liu Jun donates blood at a hospital in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia autonomous region. PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Donating blood requires kindness, courage and a passion to help others-qualities abundantly present in Liu Jun, who has been a regular donor for the past 11 years.

Born in Ulaanqab, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, Liu, 35, moved to Hohhot with his family when he was 14. Now a food deliveryman, he was surprised that news of his donations went viral online.

"I didn't know anything about donating blood when I first saw a bloodmobile outside a shopping mall around March 2010," he recalled. "I stepped into the vehicle just out of curiosity. I didn't even know my blood type. But I failed as a donor at that time as my health was not good enough."

Liu said that he adjusted his diet and made a second attempt to donate a month later, but again he was unsuccessful.

"I felt frustrated, but I was unwilling to give up," he said. "Then one day in June-I remember it was a rainy day-I took the blood test again, and surprisingly, I passed!"

He said that he felt really relaxed after donating 400 milliliters of blood. It felt as if all the pressure in his body was being released as the blood was drawn from him.

"Then I decided to donate every six months, but I never thought I would insist on doing it for 10 more years. I didn't tell my family about my decision in case they worried about my health, because back then I didn't have enough knowledge about the process to persuade them," he said.

Liu said he felt mostly good about his decision, even as he heard some rumors that donating blood could have side effects or even cause diseases.

"I've donated blood 94 times, totaling 36,800 ml since I started in 2010," he said. "I eventually told my family members about it in 2014, and they are concerned about my health. But I feel honored."

His sense of honor comes from the feeling of being needed.

"I remember in 2013, the blood bank phoned me. There was a patient with leukemia in an urgent need of platelets. I rushed to the blood bank and saw his family members crying, worrying about the blood," he said. "I donated without hesitation. I felt that this was a way I could contribute to society, at least to those needing my help.

"As my knowledge on blood donations improved, I gave up any misgivings I had about it, believing that donating blood can benefit my health by speeding up my metabolism and enhancing my immunity," he added.

One of Liu's philosophies is that many hands make light work, so last year, he took action.

"The amount of blood for clinical use was in huge demand during the epidemic, but virtually nobody was willing to go outdoors to donate blood at the time. I felt rather anxious, and I knew that my own strength and efforts alone were of little importance," he said. "I think that 100 people donating blood is much better than one person donating 100 times."

Liu called on his friends and other donors to establish a team of volunteers.

"We held a rather big event on Dec 5, the International Volunteer Day for Social and Economic Development, in Hohhot, and we persuaded over 400 people to join. About 300 were college students," he said.

Last year, Liu Jun was presented with a State-level gold medal for his volunteer efforts. He is happy about doing his part to help, but still worries that there are too few donors.

"We don't have enough volunteers willing to donate blood. I think it's a lack of promotion, leading to misunderstandings and prejudices."

Still, he said his experiences have been encouraging.

"There is a volunteer in my team who is 54 years old, just one year shy of the age limit for blood donations. He still insists on donating blood whenever there is a need," he said.

"I've also shared my knowledge of blood donations with my 10-year-old kid, and thankfully his response has been positive. He said that he will join my team once he grows up," he said.

"My wish is that more people will donate to patients in need."

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