KUCHING - When Datin Rose Lau (pic) donated her blood for the first time years ago, she shivered and nearly fainted.
Twenty-seven years later, the 53-year-old businesswoman has donated 85 pints, making her the top woman blood donor in Malaysian Red Crescent Society Kuching Chapter.
"I was very nervous, sweaty and shivered when I donated blood for the first time - nine months after I delivered my child," recalled Lau, the executive director of NB Motors.
A member of the Kuching Life Care Society, which helps to recruit voluntary blood donors, Lau said she donated blood three to four times a year to keep fit and in good health.
"After giving blood, I go straight back to work. I work 10 hours a day," she said, adding that her diet comprised mainly fruits and vegetables.
Lau has become a role model and has inspired many, especially women, to become regular blood donors.
The Red Crescent Kuching Chapter's figures show that the number of regular women donors is steadily increasing every year - from 77 in 1985 to 4,116 last year.
There were 16,527 male donors in 2013.
The chapter's blood donor recruitment committee chairman John Jong said it recruited 4,073 first-time donors last year while the yearly collection surpassed the 20,000 pints mark (20,643 pints to be exact) for the first time. The 2012 figure was 19,681 pints.
The Kuching Chapter has emerged as the top chapter nationwide for several consecutive years in the recruitment of blood donors and collection of blood.
Jong said 351 donors who had given at least 40 pints each would be honoured at the chapter's annual awards presentation this Saturday.
Those with 60 pints and above would receive gold pins from Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem in recognition of their selfless service to help fellow Malaysians.