As Sandy Dunkley sat in the blood donor chair in the Langley City fire hall on 203 Street Sunday morning, she chuckled.
“Ronny would love it,” she said.
She had just finished giving blood and was waiting for the all-clear to release pressure on her bandage and go to the snack table.
It was the sixth annual Ron Dunkley Memorial Blood Drive in memory of her son, a Langley City firefighter who died 60 days after he was hit by a train in Seattle in 2010.
Dunkley explained that her son would have been amused to see his mom giving blood, because she never used to.
The idea made her uncomfortable.
But then, after the amount of blood her son was given during the two-month fight to keep him alive, she changed her mind.
“After I saw how many people could be saved by giving blood, I decided it was time for Mom, too.”
Now, she tries to donate as often as she can, which requires her to keep a close eye on her iron levels which have, sometimes, been too low for her to be accepted as a donor.
But this Sunday, her levels were good, and a happy Dunkley was telling a visitor that everyone should donate if they can because it saves lives.
Organizers of the blood drive had booked 101 donors, but that number was expected to be slightly smaller due to no-shows and deferrals.
The Ron Dunkley Memorial Society, a registered charitable foundation, was formed after his death to raise funds for a number of causes — the B.C. Professional Firefighters Burn Fund, Muscular Dystrophy Foundation, Canadian Blood Services and University of Washington Medicine among them.
Note: a previous version of the story understated the number of blood drives