74-year-old Josephine Michaluk is awaiting on the certificate from the Guiness Book of World Records in recognition of donating over 200 units of blood. The Penhold resident has been donating blood since she was 22-years-old.
“I just went to see my oldest sister in Calgary at that time. She’s in California now but she was living in Calgary. We went down there. We didn’t go to Calgary often. We went to see her and she was just going out the door to donate blood in Calgary and I said ‘Oh geez, I guess I can come with you and keep you company.” She said ‘you can donate too if you want,’ so I said ‘okay, I will,” said reflected Michaluk on her first donation.
She noted that several of her family members also donate what they can to Canadian Blood Services as well.
Josephine remains motivated to donate because she knows no donations are ever wasted. She herself has made use of donated blood following two miscarriages that she had experienced earlier in her life.
“It’s useful in a lot of surgeries and I’m O+ so they can use my blood for whatever. I know that anybody can use O- but they said none of it goes to waste,” she explained.
She can donate up to four times a year. Michaluk prepares for each donation by eating high-iron foods like liver and broccoli the week before. Following her donation, she experiences a large burst of energy.
“I always have so much energy after and they say a lot of people do and some people don't. It depends on how your iron level is, and mine's always up pretty high. I could wash walls and do lights. I've done all kinds of things,” said Michaluk.
Michaluk’s daughter found out that she would be a world record holder after doing a bit of research after breaking 200 donations. The previous female world record holder for blood donation was held by Madhura Ashokkumar who is from India who donated 170 units of blood. Michaluk has donated 203 units of blood so far.
Josephine wants people to know that giving blood is very simple and that there is not too much to it.
“I talked to grades four, five, and six in Penhold. Here at the school a while ago. There's over 200 kids there and I was telling him how simple it is and everything. It doesn't cost anything. It's nothing out of your pocket and it just takes a few minutes. I said once the needles in your arm and arm, it doesn't seem to take more than five minutes. It's a pint I said if you go home and look at a measuring cup, a pint is two cups,” she explained.
You can schedule a donation with Canadian Blood Services by calling 1-888-2DONATE or by visiting their website here.