3 generations helping to save lives

The Lockwood family.
The Lockwood family.

You can say it’s in their blood. Three generations of the Lockwood family are giving back to their community.

For 72-year-old Jack Lockwood, this couldn’t come sooner. He’s been giving blood since he was 17 years old. His lifelong donor goal is to reach 200 pints. But when he was diagnosed with cancer nearly five years ago, that goal was put on hold.

“How did you feel during that time?” KHON2 asked.

“Well, it was something that I missed. It was part of my life. Every eight weeks, I would show up at the blood bank or sometimes at the Ali’i Place blood drive,” Lockwood said.

But even after beating cancer, Jack still couldn’t give blood because the rules said he’d have to wait five years. But on April 1, those rules changed.

“With medical research, we’ve learned that people with some conditions or medications are in fact safe to donate,” said Maura Dolormente, Director of Marketing and Recruitment at the Blood Bank of Hawaii.

Now, donors who have been cancer free for a year, with no re-occurrence, can donate.

Before, people with tattoos would have to wait a year. Now, they can give blood immediately, as long as the tattoo was done at a state-regulated shop.

The Blood Bank of Hawaii says for the first couple of weeks in April, they received about 20 phone calls each day from donors who were previously restricted from giving blood.

Lockwood’s son, Andrew, also started giving blood when he was 17.

“It’s a very small inconvenience to me and it’s a big deal for people that obviously need blood,” Andrew said.

On Saturday, he passed down the tradition to his son, Brandon. The 17-year-old gave blood for the first time.

“Ever since I was little, I wanted to donate blood. I remember being 10 or so and sitting in the back of my grandpa’s truck and he has a little stuffed animal of a blood drop and it’s all faded ’cause he keeps it in the car all the time. And I remember playing with it. I guess that was one of the first times I thought about giving blood,” Brandon said.

“People say, ‘Oh, you’ve got to tell everybody about donation.’ But you know, the real impact are the role models. Our most loyal donors come from most loyal donors,” Dolormente said.

Jack is now just a few pints short of his goal.

For more information on how you can donate, visit this website.

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