Whanganui woman Loretta Gully has her eyes set on a century of blood donations.

She's reached 72 donations - which is no mean feat considering you can only give blood every three months.

And it's a lot of blood.

Donations are typically 470ml, which is about 8 per cent of the blood volume of an average adult.


Tomorrow is the 20th year New Zealand Blood Service has been in operation and Lorreta's is one of the many stories being shared to mark the day.

"I've got 28 donations until I get to 100," Gully said.

"I'm going to aim for it. I've got 7 years to go."

She said she donated because it was easy and she wanted to pay it forward if she ever needed blood one day.

"Because I can, simple as that. I like doing it.

"And I'm altruistic. I guess it's a personality thing. I tend to think what goes around comes around and if I need blood, somebody will be there for me."

First time donors can give blood from the ages of 16 to 66, existing donors can give blood until their 71st birthday.

Loretta Gully wants to give blood 100 times.
Loretta Gully wants to give blood 100 times.

Regular donors like Loretta can give blood until they are 76.


Before the New Zealand Blood Service had took over responsibility of the supply of blood, Gully said it was done by individual hospitals.

She remembered when she first gave blood while studying in Dunedin.

"I think they came to the teachers college and we went along there. But it was part of the hospital ... the hospital was on the way to town from the teachers college so you had to walk past it to get into town.

"A group of us started and I was the only one that continued. One girl didn't want to because she didn't like the needles."

Gully's advice to anyone worried about needles or pain was to try keep calm and it wouldn't be so bad.

"The thing about it is you take your nervousness to it. If you go thinking oh it's going to be painful ... then that'll be how it will be.

"If you go and your relaxed and you think 'here's something I can do' ... just put your arm out there. They're all very kind, they're all very professional."

Eligible donors can give blood at the St Mary's Church Hall on Campbell Street on July 24 between 1pm and 5:30pm.

There'll be further opportunities to donate blood every month.