Allan Lockyer, blood donor saving lives for 50 years

BOUNCING BACK: Ivy Tregenza with donor Allan Lockyer. IVY Tregenza owes her life to the generosity of blood donors.Red Cross Blood Bank to move to Broadmeadow

IVY Tregenza owes her life to the generosity of blood donors.

Selfless contributors like Allan Lockyer – Newcastle’s most prolific blood donor – have made her life ‘‘a thousand times better’’ as she battles a rare immune deficiency disorder.

And for Mr Lockyer – who has donated blood for 50 years – that is the best endorsement he could ask for.

Mr Lockyer’s 516th and final blood donation on Wednesday will coincide with the build-up to National Blood Donor Week, to recognise the life-changing contributions of blood and bone marrow.

He turns 81 on Saturday, the age the Australian Red Cross Blood Service says existing donors must call it quits at that age.

It was a few years ago during blood donor week that he first met Ivy. The now eight-year-old requires regular plasma infusions to compensate for her inability to fight common infections.

A twin, Ivy and her brother Noah were born in 2006. When Ivy and Noah got sick, Noah would bounce back but Ivy would end up in the hospital.

Her family have launched 400 for Ivy, a pledge to gain 400 donations under Ivy’s name during August.

Ivy’s mother Tiffany said her family were eternally grateful to those who had donated blood.

‘‘People like Allan make Ivy’s life a thousand times better. Without them, Ivy wouldn’t be able to have a normal life,’’ Ms Tregenza said.

Mr Lockyer said he began donating blood years ago when a friend of his died, but kept at it because it made him feel good.

‘‘I hope that when I stop there will be people who fill the void, it is a great thing to do and it helps a lot of people.

‘‘I always feel good afterwards,’’ he said.