Hello, and welcome to the autumn 2017 edition of The Donor magazine.
The summer has seen a flurry of activity. We celebrated National Blood Week in June by highlighting blood donors’ vital role, showing that you don’t have to be in the operating theatre or hospital ward to save a life; once you’ve made that critical donation, you can go about your life while making such a difference to someone else’s.
We are so thankful to all the new donors who have signed up and pledged to save lives as a result of the campaign. The number of people signing up as new blood donors has doubled in comparison to last summer, with almost 100,000 new enrolees in June and July.
In this edition, we walk you through your first donation with the help of Donna Akodu – a brand new donor who gave blood for the first time in Tooting Donor Centre in London this summer. We also show you the journey of the blood, from your arm to the patient receiving it, and offer up some handy preparation tips to make sure your donation goes as smoothly as possible.
Thanks also to all you long standing donors whose regular donations meant that we were able to immediately respond to the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London. Read about Belinda Hastie – a donor carer with the Manchester team – describing the overwhelming public support the day after the Manchester attack.
We explore extremely rare blood donors, whose blood contains antigens that occur in less than 1% of the population. Their immediate response to our call has been invaluable for patients who also have these rare blood types, and we hear from two donors who ‘fit the bill’ perfectly and are lifesavers because of it.
We also celebrate the achievements of two of our nursing staff, Catherine Howell (chief nurse in diagnostic and therapeutic services) and Rosie Godfrey (senior sister in Leeds), who received recognition in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Marketing assistant and kidney recipient, Ella Gibson, has also won six medals at the World Transplant Games in Malaga this summer, and she explains how her transplant has allowed her to be part of the Outstanding Team of the Year.
This week marks Organ Donation Week (4th – 10th September) and we ask that you share your feelings and wishes about organ donation with your family and friends.
As we edge towards the colder months – a time when blood stocks fall due to a combination of bad weather disrupting sessions and donors being struck down with colds and flu – we very much hope that you stay fit and well and are able to make an appointment to donate.
Thank you for your continuing, committed support for blood and platelet donation.
Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive
Write and tell us your news, views and interesting or unusual donor stories by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org