Blood donor boost

Southern Telegraph - - News -

Of­fi­cers, sailors, civil­ian per­son­nel and fam­ily mem­bers from HMAS Stir­ling faced the nee­dle to take part in the 2018 Aus­tralian Red Cross Blood Ser­vice De­fence Blood Chal­lenge.

The an­nual event, which started on Septem­ber 1 and will run un­til De­cem­ber 8, chal­lenges navy, army, air force and de­fence civil­ians to see which group can achieve the most blood do­na­tions and save the most lives.

In the past nine years the De­fence Chal­lenge has con­trib­uted 101,803 do­na­tions. To mark the 10th year of in­volve­ment in the De­fence RED25 Chal­lenge, HMAS Stir­ling got the blood pump­ing with 10 vol­un­teers at a launch event at Rock­ing­ham Donor Cen­tre.

This year’s first round of vol­un­teers rep­re­sented dif­fer­ent ranks across the base and mem­bers of the naval com­mu­nity.

Lead­ing sea­man elec­tronic tech­ni­cian sub­marines Leon Brom­ley was happy to be part of the chal­lenge, espe­cially when each do­na­tion could be the dif­fer­ence be­tween life and death.

“It’s a fan­tas­tic way to give back to the com­mu­nity and can really change lives,” he said.

Aus­tralian Red Cross Blood Ser­vice com­mu­nity re­la­tions of­fi­cer Gina Tracey said the im­por­tance of hav­ing a reg­u­lar and re­li­able blood sup­ply in the hos­pi­tal sys­tem could not be un­der­es­ti­mated.

“With ev­ery do­na­tion re­ceived, three lives are saved,” she said.

The RED25 pro­gram in­volves var­i­ous groups and work­places or­gan­is­ing reg­u­lar donors who work to­wards pro­vid­ing 25 per cent of the coun­try’s blood do­na­tions. Stir­ling’s RED25 group holds the top spot for the most group do­na­tions by naval per­son­nel across Aus­tralia.

To make an ap­point­ment to do­nate blood, visit do­nate­ or call 13 14 95.

Lieu­tenant Com­man­der David Suther­land gives plasma at the Red Cross Blood Donor Cen­tre in Rock­ing­ham.

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