Call for young and old to do­nate blood

North Coast Times - - NEWS - Tyler Brown

AT 80 years of age, Allan Up­ston is near­ing the end of his blood donor jour­ney, while 20-year-old Seb Vosikis is just start­ing his.

Mr Up­ston, of Bal­la­jura, said he first stared do­nat­ing when he was about 18 and work­ing in the coal mines in New Zealand.

“I just wanted to help peo­ple,” he said.

Mr Up­ston do­nated about 90 times in New Zealand and con­tin­ued when he moved to Aus­tralia.

For the past few years, he has do­nated ev­ery two weeks and has just notched up 522 do­na­tions.

“It’s a worth­while cause and ev­ery­one who can do­nate, should do it.”

Mr Up­ston will have to re­tire from do­nat­ing blood in Oc­to­ber when he turns 81.

“I will miss it; it’s be­come a rit­ual over the past few years,” he said.

“I’ve en­cour­aged my grand­chil­dren, who are 22 and 16, to do­nate too and we usu­ally go on the same day.”

Darch res­i­dent Seb Vosikis started do­nat­ing last year and has al­ready made eight do­na­tions.

“My par­ents were donors, so I thought ‘why not’,” he said.

“Blood prod­ucts don’t last a long time, so they’re con­stantly in need of new sup­ply.”

Mr Vosikis said he tried to do­nate blood as of­ten as he could and would “def­i­nitely” con­tinue in the fu­ture.

As two of Edge­wa­ter Blood Donor Cen­tre’s old­est and youngest donors, the pair is en­cour­ag­ing oth­ers to roll up their sleeves, par­tic­u­larly on Aus­tralia Day.

So far, just five donors are booked in to do­nate blood at the Edge­wa­ter fa­cil­ity on the pub­lic hol­i­day, with an­other 35 needed be­tween 8am and noon.

“Blood do­na­tion takes just one hour – it’s such a short time spent sav­ing three Aus­tralian lives,” Blood Ser­vice spokes­woman Jess Wil­let said.

To make an ap­point­ment, go to­nate­ or call 13 14 95.

Pic­ture: Bruce Hunt d464184

Seb Vosikis and Allan Up­ston are urg­ing oth­ers to be­come blood donors.

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