Blood donors recognised at ceremony

THANKS: Donor Wayne John with blood service spokeswoman Shae Smith. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

THANKS: Donor Wayne John with blood service spokeswoman Shae Smith. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

BENDIGO'S milestone blood donors will be recognised at a ceremony at the Capital Theatre on Sunday.

The event is part of National Blood Donor Week which is celebrated from July 27 to August 3.

More than 30 Bendigo residents who have reached milestone blood donations in the past 12 months will be thanked for their life-saving contributions and a mother will share her story about how donated blood saved her son's life.

Blood service spokeswoman Shae Smith said National Blood Donor Week celebrations were traditionally held in Melbourne but had expanded into rural areas this year.

She was given four years to live but thanks to many blood donors she got 12 more years. - Wayne John

"This year we're holding more regional events to make the event more accessible," she said.

Mrs Smith said National Blood Donor Week was a celebration of Australia’s 500,000 blood donors who together made more than 1.3 million donations over the past year.

"We do need more blood donors as, once again, it's cold and flu season and many of our regular donors are cancelling because they're unwell," Mrs Smith said.

Bendigo resident Wayne John has been recognised by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service for making an amazing difference to the lives of 600 Australians.

Mr John has made 200 donations which have each been used to help save the lives of patients in need.

“I started donating with work and kept donating because my mother was diagnosed with cancer,” he said.

“She was given four years to live but thanks to many blood donors she got 12 more years. I had an extra eight years with my mother, thanks to blood donors.”

Mrs Smith said Mr John's life-saving donations have potentially improved the lives of thousands of Australians, including new mothers, cancer patients and people undergoing emergency surgery.

“Every one of Wayne’s donations help to save three lives, but his contribution has stretched so much further,” she said.  

“Blood donors change more than just the three lives they help to save with each blood donation. A donation of blood has a ripple effect, from the person receiving the blood, right through to their entire family and their friends. 

“When you give a blood donation you make an amazing difference not only to the recipient but also to their loved ones. Wayne is just one person but every donation he gives makes an amazing difference to the lives of countless others.”

To become a blood donor, call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au

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