Donating is a way of life
ANNA Lichtenberg says donating blood gives her a wonderful feeling.
Dr Lichtenberg, whose parents were of Italian/ Croatian heritage, started donating blood in 1971 and has donated more than 250 times since.
She said her parents emigrated to Australia after World War II and were always grateful for the opportunities they received here.
“They lived on the border of what is now Italy and Croatia; that border changed many times,” she said.
“My dad was in the army at the end of the war helping Americans after my parents decided to come over the border.
“They talked about it a lot; they were grateful for their opportunities.
“They assimilated quickly and made friends here.”
Dr Lichtenberg was born in Albury and lived in Bendigo and Geelong.
“It was at a teacher’s college in Melbourne when I decided to donate blood for the first time,” she said.
“I’m not sure if there was a drive.
“Back then you could only donate whole blood but when I moved to Perth in 1981, I started donating again and I could donate plasma so I could come in every fortnight, which I did whenever I was fit and healthy.
“It’s a wonderful feeling to donate and it’s my way of doing what I can.
“It’s simpler and quicker compared to years ago; it only takes about an hour.”
National Blood Donor Week, which runs from June 11 to 17, is an annual celebration for the Australian Red Cross Blood Service to recognise all the “bloody legends” that have saved lives through blood donation.
It is also a time when the Blood Service calls for more people to become donors.
Blood Service spokesperson Jessica Willet hoped National Blood Donor Week would inspire more Perth people to become “bloody legends”.
Dr Anna Lichtenberg has donated blood and plasma more than 250 times.