Sally Hampson knows when she and her colleagues donate blood – some of it could keep her father alive.
Sally’s father suffers from a condition called hemochromatosis that causes high blood iron levels. He needs a blood transfusion every three months to reduce it or he’ll end up on an organ donor list.
“We all know how important blood donations are for people who’ve had accidents but there are so many people suffering illnesses who also need our help,” Sally said.
“People get to live, there is no greater gift. It’s my way of sprinkling kindness.”
Sally and her colleagues work at the Department of Human Services’ Moreland Smart Centre. They’ve been donating blood for three years and saved up to 200 lives. They’re using World Blood Donor Day to encourage others to join them.
“We’re like one big family. We all work at the department because we want to help people and giving blood is just another way we do that,” Sally said.
“It’s a togetherness, a bond we all have. It’s not a lot of time out of your day to give such a gift.”
Another staff member Annamarie Guzzardi has also been donating blood since she was 18 years old. She saw how important her donations were when her best friend’s father needed blood transfusions during his battle with stomach cancer.
“At the end of the day you don’t know if you’ll ever need it or your friends and family will need it,” Annamarie said.
“I’ve worked with families and now I work with carers and you see people who are sick and you want to be able to help. This is just one more way I can support and serve my community.”
The Australian Red Cross Blood service has congratulated the Moreland staff and encourages everyone who can to become a blood donor.
“Many of us may be surprised to learn that Australia needs a new blood donor every five minutes,” Erin Lagoudakis from the Blood Service said.
“While one in three of us will need blood during our lifetime, only one in thirty will donate.
“I’d urge anyone who can donate blood to call the Red Cross Blood Service today on 13 14 95 or go to donateblood.com.au.”