Giving blood at the holiday season has become a family tradition for the Crawford family.
On Tuesday, dad Dean, 60, donated his 150th bag of blood while his daughter Nicole, 27, gave for her ninth time and son Dillon, 24, gave for the 27th time.
Dean and Dillon even race to see who can fill the half litre bag the fastest.
“I used to win but Dillon is winning more often these days,” Dean said. “We spend an hour and a half together, we eat some cookies, it’s a time we can see each other and catch up.”
While the family has always been based here – Dean won gold in the men’s eight rowing at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles – Nicole is currently based out of Paris and Dillon has just settled after some serious traveling.
Throughout the past few years Dillon and Dean have made a habit of giving blood together (every 56 days, the bare minimum, or close to it) and when Nicole returns home for the holidays she joins them. The family has an even longer history of supporting the blood clinic. As a Spectrum high school student Dean organized a blood drive, which both Dillon and Nicole did as well.
What Nicole doesn’t do is join in is the ‘race.’
“I’m just here to complete it, slow and steady, and enjoy their little competitive spirit,” said Nicole.
Dillon, however, is happy to take on his dad. The race is a timed event. Dillon swears an extra glass of water or two before hand can speed things up. Squeezing something with your hand can also help, he said.
“It’s true, some people like to see how fast they can give the blood,” said Ann Chabert, the territory manager with Canadian Blood Services. “We do like to encourage groups, whether they’re from work or they’re friends, it keeps people motivated to come together.”
On Tuesday, Dean was close, but not close enough. Dillon finished in four minutes and 54 seconds, Dean in five minutes and six seconds, and Nicole in a respectable sub-six-minutes.
“We have a chart at home [tracking the winners],” Nicole said.
To donate blood visit blood.ca.