Life-long Gilgandra local Kerry Felstead has 13 pins on his hat - one for every blood donation milestone he has achieved.
But he doesn't like the number 13, "it's unlucky", so he's hoping to get to 300 donations soon so he can get a 14th pin.
"I didn't think I would get to this number of blood donations - I had a little trouble getting to 200 because my iron went down. But then I came good and I got to 200, then 225, then 250, then 275... and counting," he said.
"I've only got 23 more donations to go before I get to 300. I should get another 6 before Christmas."
On Wednesday the 62-year-old drove into Dubbo to give blood for the 277th time - he's a regular donor who gives whole-blood every 3 months and plasma every two weeks. The Red Cross says each blood donation may save up to 3 lives - for Mr Felstead, that's 831 lives, and counting.
"I love doing it, I look forward to going in. I do it for sick kids. I was sitting in the cafe where I go to have a coffee before my appointment and I read in the paper about a couple of blokes who'd donated blood for a local girl called Quinn, she's only 4 and she has Leukaemia - it reminded me why I do it," he said.
"My last blood donation went to Wyong hospital, from my memory. My blood's been to Orange, to Newcastle - it's been everywhere. I feel like I'm helping someone and I don't even know them."
Mr Felstead made his first blood donation in Parramatta in 1996 when he was visiting family. He had been getting a blood test at the doctor when he was told how important his type of blood is.
"The doctor said to me 'we need this sort of blood', and I thought, 'oh well, I might start donating'. I asked my sister that day where the nearest blood bank was," he said.
Mr Felstead is one of an estimated 7% of Australians - or one in 12 - who have type O negative blood. Despite its scarcity, it's in high demand as it's a universal blood type meaning it can be used in transfusions for any blood type. This makes O negative blood crucial for emergency transfusions and immune deficient infants.
"I love watching medical shows, the ones with operations and that sort of thing, you see the blood hanging up and it says O negative on the bag - I think, that could be my blood there," he said.
Proud of his status as a blood donor, Mr Felstead has a red licence plate reading 'ODONOR' and a tattoo on his arm commemorating his blood donation milestones and reminding himself why he does it - "for the sick kids". His tattoo artist has left space on his arm for one to commemorate his 500th donation.
"The first tattoo I got said 'Blood and plasma donor O negative'. When I got it the tattoo artist said 'you know it's addictive, when you get one you'll want more'," Mr Felstead said.
Mr Felstead hopes by sharing his story and wearing his milestones he will encourage more locals to roll up their sleeves and make a donation.
About 1 in 3 Australians will need blood or blood products in their lifetime. To keep up with the demand the Australian Government Department of Health estimates more than 29,000 blood donations are needed every week, but only 3 percent of Australians donate blood.
"We need more donors. Some are older and retiring. There was another bloke in the clinic with me on Wednesday - who goes in around the same time I do - he's donated 335 times. He's been donating for 10 years more than me," said Mr Felstead.
"I'd like to see 10 or 20 people donating when the bus comes out to Gilgandra. It only takes 5 minutes."
According to the results of Lifeblood's State of Donation survey from June this year, the Australian public vastly overestimates how many people donate blood and underestimate how many lives depend on blood transfusions.
More than half of the survey's respondents thought there were at least three times as many blood donors as there actually are and 41.1% believed most donated blood is used for road accident and trauma patients, when in fact, most donated blood is used in cancer treatment.
"I donate to help people with cancer too. I've got a mate with bowel cancer, he said I'm doing a good thing," said Mr Felstead.
"My nephew died at 31 of brain cancer - poor fella, he was so young, he hadn't even lived his life yet - and a good mate died at 51 of brain cancer. I've got their names tattooed as well."
72.5% of respondents to Lifeblood's survey said they would be more willing to donate if they knew someone who needed blood and 69% said they would be more likely to donate if they knew their blood type - like Mr Felstead's - was in short supply.
Last week, the Australian Red Cross lifted a 22-year ban on blood donation by those who had spent a total of six months or more in the UK during the 'mad cow disease' outbreak between 1980 and 1996.
The Red Cross said lifting the ban could see up to 58,000 extra blood donations being made each year and, since the ban was lifted, 21,000 more Australians have already signed up to become blood and plasma donors.
Asked why more local people should register to become blood donors, Mr Felstead had a simple message: "Do it for the kids."
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