For Amandeep Sandhu, donating blood is…in the blood. For the Sandhu family, blood donation is not only familial; it’s multi-generational and cross-continental.

Amandeep, a 30-year-old professional truck driver in the Greater Toronto Area, is following in the footsteps of his parents, who live in India. The photo shows his father Balwant Singh and mother Jaswant Kaur Ramgarhia donating blood on their wedding anniversary in early July, each for their 69th donation. Since then, they’ve become ‘Star Couple Blood Donors,’ each having given blood 70 times, a milestone in India. In fact, they are record holders in blood donation.

Amandeep himself is a six-time donor with Canadian Blood Services. He first gave blood at home in India in the Punjab region in 1998, when he was 17-years-old. In India, he donated 21 times. After moving to Canada in 2007, he decided to continue giving here.

“I do it because I feel good about it. My parents taught us that blood donation is a noble cause. We were raised to understand how important it is,” he says.

“There is a blood donation movement within my family. Not only do my parents do it but I donate and so does my sister. There is no substitute for blood. For patients who need it, this is the only way to help them because there is nothing else that can replace it.”

Blood donation is a good social cause where one can see where their donation goes, Amandeep says. But he adds that donating blood should be about more than one community. “It should be about all communities and all societies helping each other. This is about collective community responsibility and doing something to help everyone, regardless of where they live.”

We at Canadian Blood Services couldn’t agree more.