You could call Helen Shearer a bloody legend.
I've done what I feel is the right thing to do. You never know when you might need blood. It's what everyone should do if they canHelen Shearer
After almost half a century of rolling up her sleeves, the 80-year-old is retiring on a remarkable milestone of 464 blood donations.
The Singleton lifesaver is one of only a handful of people in the Hunter region to reach a milestone of more than 450 donations.
With every donation having the power to save up to three lives, Mrs Shearer has potentially helped save 1400 Australian patients with her A plus blood.
Mrs Shearer, now 80, gave her very first donation on November 17, 1969 and she has been a regular at the blood bank ever since.
She said donating blood made people feel good about themselves.
"I felt that I could. I was healthy and happy to share what I've got," she said.
"I've done what I feel is the right thing to do. You never know when you might need blood. It's what everyone should do if they can. I've been in a position that I've been able to give up time every fortnight or every three weeks."
She donates rain, hail, or shine, every three weeks at Maitland Blood Donor Centre.
"It is an achievement and I am proud of reaching it," Mrs Shearer said.
On March 27, Mrs Shearer will roll up her sleeve for the last time and give her final donation.
Sadly, only one in 30 Australians give blood each year while one in three people will need blood or blood products in their lifetime.
Speaking about the milestone, Blood Service spokesperson Brian Bruce thanked Mrs Shearer, and said the Blood Service needed more people to become regular donors.
“Helen is a well-known and much-loved character at the Maitland Blood Donor Centre,” he said.
“Helen’s commitment to donating is to be admired - driving from Singleton to Maitland regularly to give a donation of blood plasma,”
“By becoming a regular blood donor just like Helen, you will be helping the one in three Australians who will need blood or a blood product in their lifetime.”
To make an appointment or learn more about donating, call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au. Maitland Donor Centre is located at 39 St Andrews Street, Maitland.