Every Wednesday, in the scenic harbour town of Saint John, N.B., Dr. John Allan has a lunch date. If you ask him about it, he’ll tell you it’s the most relaxing hour in his hectic work week. So, what makes this lunch activity so special? John is a plasma donor.

John gave his first blood donation while in high school and in 1999 he  became a regular donor, giving whole blood whenever he was eligible, every two months or so.

After a year or two, he decided to give plasma donations a try. Being able to donate more often — plasma donors can do so weekly — was a primary motivator for John to make the shift.

John was first inspired to give blood by his mother. A role model in many ways, his mother was also a regular blood donor. The blood system came full circle for John’s mom after she received a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. To help her body heal from the cancer treatments, she received blood products.

As his mother could no longer be a donor, he determined there was no better way to honour her than by giving blood with her in mind.

As a physician, John knows the role blood plays in the health care system, and although his days are pretty busy as the head of radiology at Saint John Regional Hospital, he is committed to helping others through blood donation. So, every week John can be seen making the short walk from his hospital to the donor clinic where he receives a warm welcome from all his friends at the clinic. He wouldn’t want to keep his very important lunch date waiting.