Plasma donors needed to save lives

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - What’s On - GE­OR­GIA FORRESTER

Ev­ery fort­night, Dion Martin takes time out of his day to help save some­one’s life.

A reg­u­lar blood and plasma donor for more than 30 years, Martin reg­u­larly takes time out to sit in Palmer­ston North’s donor cen­tre, a thin IV line con­nected to the vein in his arm from a box­like ma­chine nearby.

It’s a ma­chine that takes his blood, re­moves the plasma and re­turns his blood back to his body within an hour.

Plasma is the fluid that car­ries red blood cells around the body.

New Zealand Blood Ser­vice spokes­woman Diane Ren­shaw said plasma could make up to 13 dif­fer­ent medicines to help peo­ple with can­cers, burns, and hae­mophilia.

Although many peo­ple do­nated blood, in the Palmer­ston North area 200 new plasma donors were needed to help ‘‘spread the load’’ for the reg­u­lar donors, Ren­shaw said.

The blood ser­vice re­lied on the gen­eros­ity of peo­ple to help ‘‘meet the needs of New Zealan­ders’’.

Martin said as a fa­ther of six, he was not al­ways able to do­nate money to char­i­ties and can­cer re­search.

But, do­nat­ing plasma was some­thing he could do and it was his way of giv­ing back.

‘‘It’s good for the com­mu­nity. I know that for peo­ple with can­cer, it’s re­ally worth­while.’’

Palmer­ston North man Dar­ryl Cle­landrecently be­came a reg­u­lar donor.

Cle­land has one of New Zealand’s rarest blood types, B neg­a­tive.

He said he had been ‘‘too busy’’ in the past to do­nate, but re­ally it was some­thing fit, healthy peo­ple should be do­ing to help oth­ers.

Alan Brooker made his 107th do­na­tion on Mon­day.

The Palmer­ston North man said he tried to do­nate about ev­ery four weeks.

Booker’s fa­ther was un­able to do­nate blood after caching malaria while serv­ing in the med­i­cal corps in World War II. He en­cour­aged Brooker to do­nate.

PHOTO: WARWICK SMITH/STUFF

Dion Martin do­nates plasma ev­ery fort­night at the Palmer­ston North donor cen­tre.

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