Blood donors queue up

New Zealand Blood Service donor technician Jordyn Mellow, right, and from left Daisy, 5 and Penny, 11, of St Peter’s Catholic School watch on as Amelia Boss gives blood in the Cambridge Town Hall. Photo: Mary Anne Gill.

An appeal for blood donors resulted in a record collection in Cambridge three days out from Christmas.

And one of them queuing up to give blood after a break to have children was Amelia Boss who brought along daughters Penny, 11, and Daisy, 5, to see what was involved. Both St Peter’s Catholic School students said they would follow their mother’s example when they become eligible after their 16th birthdays.

It was Amelia’s sister who got her back into donating blood again.

“My sister has been giving blood regularly and she showed me the app and when her blood got used, they send a notification.

“So, I thought ‘that’s really cool’ and got back into it again.”

Blood technicians from the New Zealand Blood Service prepare the Cambridge Town Hall for a record number of blood donors. Photo: Mary Anne Gill.

Cherie Malcuch, who was donating blood for the 25th time, was presented with a New Zealand Blood Service umbrella for the milestone.

New Zealand Blood donor relations coordinator Chris Dickinson said in two days in Cambridge at the Town Hall – December 21 and 22 – 196 units of blood were donated. They have the potential to help 588 people in need.

The first day of the blood drive saw 131 people attend and 119 donations of whole blood made.

“This is the best attendance and collection result for a session in Cambridge ever,” he said.

The Blood Service visits Cambridge four times a year. In 2002, the service collected 581 units and last year 653. The next visit is in March.

Fewer than four per cent of the eligible population give blood in New Zealand.

New Zealand’s rate is expected to rise significantly when people who were unable to give blood – because they lived in the United Kingdom, Ireland or France for six months during the mad cow crisis between 1980 and 1996 – can do so sometime in the next six months.

When the ban was lifted in Australia, there was an eight per cent increase in numbers.

Amelia Boss, front and Cherie Malcuch, behind, fill out their details for the NZ Blood Service while Penny, 11, and Daisy, 5, of St Peter’s Catholic School watch their mother closely. Photo: Mary Anne Gill.


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