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Run by humans: Chris

Published: 7/12/2023

As we get closer to Christmas, we have another special reason to celebrate..

The remarkable journey of Chris, a dedicated Suma member whose commitment goes beyond the workplace. For this festive edition of the newsletter, we mark Chris’ 34th anniversary here at Suma and delve a bit deeper into his story of giving.

Having already dipped a toe into the world of co-ops, Chris rolled into Suma in December 1989 with a solid understanding of collaboration and community. He mastered multiple roles; warehouse coordinator, stock controller, driver, and, most recently, a key player in the purchase accounts team. Beyond the 9 to 5, Chris is your go-to guy for dog walks, gigs, football, and theatre, or find him simply living his best life soaking up nature and enjoying green spaces. But here’s the really cool bit. When Chris finished school, he found himself unemployed with not much to do. So when he came across a blood donor session he went along to see what it was all about. “I started out 40 years ago with a six-monthly 1 pint blood donation. Several years ago I was asked if I would consider donating platelets and since then I’ve passed 350 donations!“

Chris goes once a month, giving one plasma and two platelet donations each time. They are like superheroes for folk battling cancer or serious illness and injury. “Plasma is commonly given to trauma, burn and shock patients, as well as people with severe disease or clotting deficiencies as it helps boost blood volume.“

And the donation process? “Absolutely painless“ he says. “They take the blood, separate out what they need, and put the remainder back.“ Chris is out there saving lives without even breaking a sweat! “I usually get a text to say where my donation has gone. The last one went to the Royal Berks hospital, so I get about a bit!” chuckled Chris.

Chris plans to spend lots of time with family and friends this Christmas and will be back to his blood-related adventures in the New Year. “Fatty food lessens the quality of the donation, so I’ll have to get the Christmas cake and boxes of chocolates out the way first! “

Inspired by Chris‘ story? Fancy getting into the true spirit of giving? “Sadly, the need for blood transfusions will always be with us, and you never know when yourself or a family member may need one – it’s a very worthwhile thing to do.“

So here’s to Chris – decades on and still dedicated to making a difference.

Visit www.nhsbt.nhs.uk for more info