Woodend’s Graham Boyd has donated blood more than 100 times.

And because of his persistence, tens of thousands of blood donations are taking place in Australia every year.

Mr Boyd wouldn’t take no for an answer when he turned 71 and was told he was no longer eligible to donate.

The Woodend resident said his doctor agreed he was still healthy enough to continue giving blood, despite his age.

Mr Boyd began a campaign to have the age restriction lifted, writing a series of letters to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service and preparing to take his case before the Age Discrimination Board. In response to his efforts, in November 1998, the age limit for blood donation was raised to 80 years, subject to the fitness of the donor.

Mr Boyd was awarded the COTA Senior Achievers Award at the Victorian Seniors of the Year Awards this month.

“I’m still up on cloud nine,” Mr Boyd said.

Earlier this year, he received a letter from the Australian Red Cross Blood Service thanking him for his contribution. It advised him that last year 30,739 blood donations were made by Australians over the age of 71.