Canada’s oldest blood donor says it’s all gain, no pain after decades of giving

Great-grandmother and Coquitlam, B.C., resident has been donating blood since the late 1940s

Beatrice Janyk credits vitamins, 12 hours of sleep a day and a busy mind for allowing her to donate blood regularly for most of the last 70 years.

At 95, Canadian Blood Services says Janyk is the country’s oldest blood donor.

The great-grandmother and Coquitlam, B.C., resident has been donating blood since the late 1940s and says she has no plans to stop.

“You betcha, ‘till I’m 100. I’ll be 96 in August,” Janyk told reporters Wednesday before donating blood at a Canadian Blood Services centre in Vancouver, where she was recognized as Canada’s oldest blood donor.

Janyk has advocated for blood donation since her now-deceased husband Bill was injured in a sawmill accident in 1948 and nearly died from a hepatitis infection he later contracted from contaminated blood. Though she was forced to stop donating blood at age 71 in Canada due to an age restriction, Janyk continued in 2005 after it was lifted.

When she could no longer donate blood in Canada, Janyk rolled up her sleeve at the Bloodworks offices in Bellingham, Wash., and was awarded a celebratory pin for donating 20 gallons of blood. Canadian Blood Services says that’s the equivalent of 170 donations in Canada.

Janyk, whose blood type is O-positive, says she takes no medications so her blood can be used for children and infant transfusions, adding that makes her incredibly proud.

“I hope I’ve saved a baby, because I take no medication, but (take) seven vitamins every night.”

Canadian Blood Services spokesman Marcelo Dominguez says Janyk is a paragon of the agency.

“It is an example we hope others will want to follow,” he said, as Janyk’s family surrounded her. ”We’re all very lucky to have you. It’s the perfect time for our organization to say thank you to a donor like you, who has been giving blood and saving lives for decades.”

Janyk says her secret to youth and happiness is going to bed early, getting up early, and keeping busy throughout the day. An avid cribbage player, Janyk says she doesn’t take naps and tries to keep busy with crochet, needlepoint and making rosaries.

Janyk says her proudest achievement is the family she’s created. Her son Barry Janyk, a former mayor of Gibsons, B.C., spoke glowingly of his mother.

“I don’t know why, but I think we’re more proud of her, because all I can say is if I was 95 and still giving blood, I think that’s an accomplishment in anybody’s world.”

Along with her sons Barry, Robert, and Bill, Janyk was joined by her grandson Garrett, and granddaughter Britt Janyk, who skied with the Canadian Olympic team.

The great-grandmother’s message to anyone afraid to give is simple: “No pain, 20 minutes, then you’ll gain.”

Spencer Harwood, The Canadian Press


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Sex workers march in downtown Victoria for Red Umbrella Day

Red umbrellas became a symbol of sex workers after an art installation in Italy

MLA Adam Olsen calls for ‘substantial’ changes in provincial economy

Green Party MLA also criticizes gap between government rhetoric and actions

500 pounds of turkey served at Cool Aid community Christmas dinner

Annual dinner serves hundreds of community members

VIDEO: Annual Tuba Christmas concert draws large crowd to Market Square

Over 100 tuba and euphonium players gathered to play festive tunes

Revisit Christmas past as Point Ellice House displays Victorian-era traditions

Antique bobbles, cards, decor and more are on display

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

The Conservatives have a Toronto convention already scheduled for April

Most Read