A DONOR who has given more than 100 pints of blood has encouraged others to step forward and save lives.

Di Hartley-Russell has been donating for almost 60 years after her brother lost his battle with leukaemia when she was just 14 years old.

Di, now 73, says she has given 108 pints of blood to date and is backing the County Gazette’s Mine’s A Pint campaign.

She said: “My brother got leukaemia and died when he was 16. I was only 14 at the time and it was very tragic for the family.

“Those days there wasn’t a lot of things they could do to help – only blood transfusions. That’s when I became aware of the importance of blood donation and I started giving as soon as I was eligible.”

Since then, Di has been attending regular sessions and has contributed to saving dozens of lives.

And she hopes more people will step up and become ‘mini heroes’ once they realise how easy the process of blood giving is.

“I’ve always admired people who help save other people’s lives, such as the RNLI, firefighters and emergency services,” added Di, who lives in Ilminster.

“By giving blood you can become a bit of a mini hero yourself – and all for just lying on a bed. For 30 minutes of your time you could have saved a person’s life – sometimes more than one life.

“What I will say is this: just think of others. You only need to be fairly fit and healthy to give blood. And if you don’t like needles, look away.”

To find out more about donating blood – and your nearest donation centre – call 0300-123-2323 or visit blood.co.uk