By Nancy Kelly
In an ironic twist of fate, a Berwick resident with a long history of supporting Canadian Blood Services has recently found himself on the receiving end of the gift of life made possible by blood donations from other like-minded Canadians.
Less than a month ago, Frank Woodworth was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a cancer that starts inside bone marrow - the soft tissue that helps form blood cells. Since then, he has received more than 10 units of blood products during treatment at the Victoria General Hospital in Halifax.
Woodworth gave his first blood donation when he was a student at Acadia University in 1962. Over the past 50 years, he has made more than 90 blood donations, stopping only in 2009 after heart surgery that precludes him from donating. The Berwick Lions Club member has tirelessly organized the Canadian Blood Services blood donor clinic in the town for two decades
Woodworth’s daughter Jacki - who lives in Doha, Qatar - made the long trip home to Nova Scotia to be with her dad as he underwent his initial and second course of cancer treatments. While in Berwick, she donated blood at the regular blood donor clinic Dec. 5 at the Berwick Lions Hall. She was pleased her Dad was well enough to be with her as she made her donation in his honour.
Jacki, now back at home in the Middle East, reported her father has responded well to his treatments, which are possible thanks to public blood donations.
“Over the years, (Dad) has encouraged many of us to get involved with the blood donation effort, inspiring family and friends to give,” said Jacki. She is encouraging people to help carry on this life saving tradition by coming out to give the next time the donor clinic is in town.
“It could be the most important gift you ever give.”