By Claire Ottaviano
ABOUT 170 blood and plasma donors are needed in Midland to give the gift of life this Christmas and before the end of 2020.
The Midland Blood Donor Centre will be open throughout the festive season for lifesaving donations, and in particular needs more donors to give blood on New Year’s Eve, with only seven people currently booked in to donate.
Those who donate between now and December 31 will receive a ‘Gift of Life’ gift tag to either gift their donation to someone this Christmas or encourage others to donate.
On Tuesday, Mundaring’s Peter Foster gave his 209th donation.
Mr Foster started donating plasma ten years ago and switched to donating platelets just over a year ago.
With a rare blood type, Mr Foster’s donations are currently supporting cancer patients interstate.
Even though he does not know the identity of the recipient, he says his fortnightly donations are always a special time.
“I’ve been donating platelets for about a year and a bit now because I am a matched donor, that has made me feel really, really good,” he said.
“I would recommend it to anyone who can to donate.
“Do it, try it, you will enjoy it, the people are fantastic and really welcoming and you’re made to feel comfortable.”
Lifeblood spokesperson Jessica Willet said stocks of platelets, a blood component vital to the treatment of cancer patients, were particularly under pressure during the holiday period.
“It takes four blood donations to make just one dose of platelets for patients and they only last for five days,” she said.
“Your blood donation will be the gift of life for Australian patients this Christmas – and will have a far-reaching impact not just on the lives you save, but also the lives of their loved ones.”
Blood will also be needed by road accident patients, pregnant mums, and even premature babies every day over Christmas and New Year.
The Midland Blood Donor Centre is located at 233 Great Eastern Highway.
Opening hours over the holiday period, December 24, 26, 30, 31 and January 2, are 7am to 3.30pm and on December 29 from 11am to 7.30pm.
The centre is closed Mondays and Sundays, Christmas Day, December 28 and New Years Day.