For four years, Mr Firdaus bin Mohd Abdullah had to undergo about three blood transfusions annually after being diagnosed with leukaemia.
The Ngee Ann Polytechnic graduate, now 20, was diagnosed when he was 11, after his parents noticed how pale he was and the occasional fevers that he had.
Within a month of the diagnosis, Mr Firdaus had his first blood transfusion as he needed to increase his red blood cell count. Describing the feeling of “new blood” entering his body as “a sudden heat rush”, Mr Firdaus, who is now waiting to enlist in National Service, said he felt “lucky” that his O+ blood type is not rare, making it easier for him to get a transfusion.
He was declared to have recovered from the cancer in 2007 and, in the same year, Mr Firdaus decided to “give back to the community”.
In return for the donated blood that helped keep him alive, he decided to join the Singapore Red Cross as a volunteer.
From 2009 to last year, Mr Firdaus emceed the World Blood Donor Day. He shared his life story at a World Blood Donor Day event in 2008 and 2009 to inspire people to donate blood, and helps out at the Singapore Red Cross Society’s blood donation drives and outreach programmes in Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
He may not know who his donors were, but Mr Firdaus is no less grateful. “I am thankful for them because it has helped me to recover and live,” he said, encouraging others to donate blood to “help to save lives”.
This article was first published in TODAY