Glenn Williams with his wife

Langley senior proud to reach blood donor milestone

A 63-year-old local man started donating blood as a teen.

by Alex Skerdzhev

The Murrayville Community Hall is a non-descript ecru and green coloured building with a red roof. Inside it, Glenn Williams prepares to donate blood for the 100th time.

Filling out a long form, he is told he has to read the donor brochure, even though he already knows everything in it, before being asked to follow the helpful and friendly assistant to some medical computer equipment behind one of the blue portable cubicles on the right side of the room.

“They’re going to screen me to make sure I haven’t had sex with any bad stuff,” he jokes, before disappearing inside a cubicle.

Blood screens are done on every donor, regardless of the regularity of donations. Learn more at

The 63-year-old is an energetic, friendly man with a goatee and shaved head. He proudly wears a white-and-red button displaying a maple leaf with “100” written inside of it.

Moving over to lie on one of the six black, reclined chairs peppering the hall, and surrounded by blood pressure monitors and crimson-filled IV tubes, he relaxes while showing no signs of discomfort at the ongoing drainage.

“I started [giving blood] when I was 18, back in Burnaby North High School,” he said. “It was all voluntary, but it’s a good thing. My one pint of blood can save up to 10 people.”

Williams’ wife, Debbie, 63, can no longer give blood herself due to medication and a previous, and successful, battle with cancer back in the late ’90s. She is very supportive of her husband’s blood-giving.

“I think it’s terrific. If I could, I would be right there with him. I think it’s marvelous,” she said.

Williams is a universal donor with type-O blood, meaning his is compatible with every other type, but he can only accept other type-O blood.

Williams’ two young grandkids, Jaden and Jaxen, ages 10 and six, respectively, stand by his bed, observing the process.

“I give blood every two months. Whole blood,” he said.

This is the most common type of blood donation, taking every component as opposed to just plasma, platelets or red cells.

The only thing that threw Williams off his donation schedule was a trip to Mexico. Prospective donors who travel abroad, either to certain specific countries or just for long periods, or both, must wait to donate. New piercings or tattoos mean a year’s wait as well.

He said he plans on giving blood until he turns 100 years old, when he plans to get a tattoo, though he’s not sure what kind.

PHOTO:Glenn Williams with his wife, Debbie, and grandkids Jaden (right) and Jaxen. (Alex Skerdzhev/Langley Advance)

Just Posted

Brookswood’s Forsyth back to Langley for basketball meet

The Bobcat alumnus and her team will take on last year’s champs Notre Dame.

Student entrepreneurs spotlighted at Fort Langley event

Take part in a talk on problem-solving, creativity, critical thinking and social responsibility.

Historic Fort Langley remembers James Douglas and Louis Riel

Annual weekend events draw hundreds to site

Aldergrove hairdressers go wild and crazy

Students show off skills they’ve learned in the career program at ACSS

Langley school pulls Japanese ‘rising sun’ flag after student petition

School district promises consultation with students and parents, defends using flag for war history

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Laine scores 3 as Jets double Canucks 6-3

Injury-riddled Vancouver side drops sixth in a row

Deportation averted for Putin critic who feared return to Russia

Elena Musikhina, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, has been granted a two-year visitor’s permit in Canada

B.C. to allow Uber-style ride hailing services to operate in late 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Auditor general takes aim at Liberals’ fighter-jet plan

Suditor general Michael Ferguson is about to release a new report on Canada’s attempts to buy new fighter jets

B.C. couple converts ambulance into a traveling home

The Revelstoke couple plan on touring B.C. ski hills then driving to Mexico

Cyclist defecates, throws own poop at car following B.C. crash

Man defecates in the street before throwing it at a driver locked in her vehicle

Second person dies following head-on collision in Surrey

Paige Nagata of Abbotsford was in crash on Nov. 4 that also killed maternity nurse

11 years sought for Burnaby man who killed girlfriend with hammer, burned her body

Manslaughter sentencing hearing started Monday in Chilliwack for Ryan Armstrong

Most Read