Garry McCracken marked his 70th birthday by recruiting 70 blood donors and will mark his own 100th blood donation on Dec. 24. (Canadian Blood Services photo)

Garry McCracken marked his 70th birthday by recruiting 70 blood donors and will mark his own 100th blood donation on Dec. 24. (Canadian Blood Services photo)

Lake Country man makes 100th blood donation in Kelowna

Milestone just one month after recruiting 70 blood donors for his 70th birthday

As a long-time philanthropist and active person, Garry McCracken of Lake Country wanted to mark his 70th birthday in a special way. His goal was to bike across Canada in 70 days.

The pandemic put a stop to his biking goal, but McCracken was still determined to do something charitable to honour his milestone birthday.

He took to social media to encourage friends and family to get involved with Canadian Blood Services or with their local blood operator wherever they lived in the world.

He encouraged giving of all kinds: blood, plasma or platelet donations, registering to donate stem cells and making a financial donation were all welcome contributions.

“For his 70th birthday gary worked around the limitations imposed by the pandemic and organized a birthday blood drive with a target of reaching 70 donations amongst his friends and family all over the world,” actor and comedian Andrew Phung said in video honouring Canada’s lifeline, which features McCracken.

The selfless act is one of many featured in the video, with McCracken’s story told at the 43:15 mark.

This isn’t his first fundraising marquee birthday event, and isn’t likely to be his last. McCracken has marked several birthdays and occassions by making a difference.

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And his dedication to giving the gift of blood continues.

McCracken is set to make his 100th donation at the Kelowna plasma donor centre Friday, Dec. 24.

Raised in a military family, McCracken is an accomplished athlete and personal trainer.

“He is an absolute inspiration to others in his community during this season of giving,” said Agnese Caruso, with Canadian Blood Services. “We hope others take his lead and book an appointment to donate plasma. New and returning plasma donors are needed during this busy season to book and keep appointments to ensure patients’ needs are met. Plasma donors are a vital link in Canada’s Lifeline and the need for plasma is constant.”

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