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‘I know Ron would be here giving blood’

Sandy Dunkley looks at her son’s firefighting badge with Langley City fire chief Rory Thompson during the second annual Ron Dunkley Bleed and Feed blood drive on Thursday, Dec. 13. Blood drive organizer and firefighter Rob Rabby stands by. More than 110 people came to the fire hall to give blood including Sandy and Rabby. - Monique Tamminga/Langley Times
Sandy Dunkley looks at her son’s firefighting badge with Langley City fire chief Rory Thompson during the second annual Ron Dunkley Bleed and Feed blood drive on Thursday, Dec. 13. Blood drive organizer and firefighter Rob Rabby stands by. More than 110 people came to the fire hall to give blood including Sandy and Rabby.
— image credit: Monique Tamminga/Langley Times

Sandy Dunkley said she got 60 more days with her son Ron because strangers gave blood.

“From the minute they took him from those tracks to his stay in hospital they pumped blood into him to make him live 60 more days,” said Dunkley, who gave blood at the second annual Bleed and Feed Ron Dunkley blood drive at the Langley City Fire Hall on Thursday, Dec. 13.

More than 110 people gave blood that day, several firefighters did too, including organizer and City firefighter Rob Rabby and City Councillor Teri James.

Sandy herself gave blood for the first time on Thursday.

“Now that I know how important blood is, I can’t wait to give blood and I will for the rest of my life,” said Sandy. “I know Ron would be here giving blood.”

In November, 2010, Ron had gone to Seattle with a handful of colleagues from the fire hall for a Seahawks game.

The evening before the game, he had gone out with a group but hailed a taxi to drive him, alone, to the group’s hotel. His parents say it must have been a very scary ride for Ron to make a desperate 911 call, describing the driver as “a lunatic.”

Nobody knows whether he was dropped off, or jumped out of the moving cab to escape the driver behind the wheel. Either way, he climbed between two cars of a stationary train. He didn’t see another train approaching, and was hit and then dragged several metres.

He suffered two broken legs and massive internal injuries. He underwent around 40 surgeries and more blood transfusions than can be counted. Sadly, on Jan. 4, 2011, he died of a blood infection.

But his family has watched the legacy of their cherished son live on, as with the success of this blood drive in his honour.

Langley City firefighters presented Sandy and her husband Gene with their son’s badge in a frame on Thursday. Frostings Cupcakery owners Melanie and Craig McDougall also presented the Dunkleys with a special firefighter cake and supplied cupcakes for all those who gave blood. They also walked around to local businesses spreading the word about the blood drive.

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