Paul Van Hardeveld rolls up his sleeve and donates blood for the 200th time. june 13, 2018. (Photo by Greg Higgins)

Local Man Gives Blood For 200th Time

Canadian Blood Services rolled out the red carpet to celebrate a local man who was donating for the 200th time Wednesday.

Paul Van Hardeveld moved to Canada from the Netherlands in 1967. It was a year later while attending Mohawk College he would donate blood for the first time and he has been donating as much as he could ever since.

“I just walked over to check out the clinic and thought ‘hey, I can help someone out’ and that’s how it started,” Van Hardeveld said. “At that time we could only donate four times a year but they have since increased it to six.”

Van Hardeveld loves the aspect of helping people out, but there’s a deeper meaning to his donations. The two main reasons are his mother who was a volunteer Red Cross nurse on the Dutch inland hospital ship Henry Dunant, during the 1960s. She is currently 94 years old and suffers from dementia.

The second reason is Van Hardeveld wanted to honour his late great aunt who was a Red Cross nurse during the Second World War.

“She was also an underground courier for the resistance in Holland,” Van Hardeveld said, “The Germans found out she was a courier and she was actually killed on the eve of Dutch Liberation… So that’s another reason why I donate. In memory of her.”

Van Hardeveld said his aunt, Annick Van Hardeveld, was one of the last people killed by the Nazi’s before the Dutch Liberation and she has a monument dedicated to her in Holland. It lies at the Hekelveld, which is a square at the centre of Amsterdam.

Van Hardeveld was joined by his son Wayne and daughter Amanda at the clinic. Wayne said he doesn’t donate quite as much as his old man.

“We are so proud of him,” Wayne said. “My dad’s constant donations and insistence to help people is part of the reason I decided to become a nurse. He was always adamant that when we could donate we would go with him if we had the chance. We are trying to follow in his footsteps, but I am pretty busy at work so I can’t get out as much.”

This fall will mark the 50 year anniversary of Van Hardeveld’s first donation and the 68-year-old has no plans on slowing down.

“I’ll be doing it as long as I can,” Van Hardeveld said. “I don’t think there is any limit for how long I can donate. As long as they can use me and as long as I’m healthy, I’ll keep donating.”