For many, donating blood is a deeply personal yet anonymous act.
But knowing where your blood has gone or to whom it has helped is not of huge importance for these selfless individuals.
Bone marrow donator Sarah Hyde endured a painful day surgery in October to help an interstate youngster, whose affliction was unknown to her.
When asked if she inquired about the boy, Ms Hyde responded: “I don’t want to know. I’m a bit of a sook.”
Knowing she was helping in some way was enough comfort for Ms Hyde, and countless others donors who attended an Australian Red Cross Blood Service event on Saturday, where donors from across regional Victoria were thanked for their vital contributions.
Between the 100 donors, some of which were unable to attend the event at the Fortuna Villa, 6750 donations have been recorded.
That’s the equivalent of more than 14,000 litres of blood, which was enough to save the lives of more than 20,000 patients, according to Peter McDonald, Executive Director for Business Improvement at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.
Across Victoria, over the past 12 months, donors gave blood 331,000 times, Mr McDonald said.
Guest speaker at the event was a Bendigo man whose five-year-old daughter Emily was diagnosed with cancer last year.
Eighteen blood transfusions and 16 platelet transfusions supported the youngster through surgery and intensive rounds of chemotherapy, to the point where she is now in remission.
Father Luke was adamant donors had helped save his daughter’s life.
“Without donors, the transfusions required would not have been possible,” he said.
Jeff Willey has been rolling up his sleeves since the 1970s.
The 40-year donor veteran began giving blood while he was with the army based in Brisbane.
His service helped him realise the importance of blood donation, a notion he has carried through to the present day.
“When you also have family members involved in accidents it makes you realise the importance of it,” said Mr Willey, suggesting the idea of “paying it forward” was a prominent one within the local donor community.
“It’s not much of your time really, and you feel good about doing it. Also they check your blood and blood pressure so it’s a free check up, in a way.”