Ken Saunders – A Lifetime of Saving Lives

By Nadia Turner

Ken Saunders, a dedicated blood and platelet donor passed away suddenly on 23 May 2021 at the age of 80. He donated an amazing 496 units of blood throughout his life and was extremely passionate about saving lives.  He often planned his life around his donations and never missed a single one, so much so that he scheduled a knee surgery around his next blood donation date. Being on holiday with family never stopped Ken from donating as he would make sure to find his nearest blood donation clinic.

Ken grew up in Durban and started his blood donation journey there at the age of 16. He moved to Johannesburg and later retired in Cape Town and continued donating blood with Western Cape Blood Service. He often spoke to people about blood donation and inspired many to follow in his footsteps including his daughter Tracy, who in turn has inspired her partner to become a blood donor as well.

Tracy accompanied her father to many blood donor award ceremonies and says attending these was always a highlight for Ken.  He loved to hear the inspiring stories of blood donor recipients and share in honouring other blood donors who attended these special evenings.

The Western Cape Blood Service is truly grateful to Ken for his many years of dedication to the Service. He saved thousands of lives through his donations and inspired many more to follow his example.

“Giving is not just about making a donation, it is about making a difference.”  These are definitely words that come to mind when talking about Ken Saunders.


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