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Hello and welcome to the spring 2018 edition of The Donor magazine.

Ian Trenholm

This edition of our e-newsletter is all about sharing. Sharing experiences, sharing opinions and even sharing blood types! Let me explain…

We’ve teamed up with some familiar faces from the world of entertainment to create a series of videos sharing their experiences of giving blood and encouraging friends, family and loved ones to come together on a regular basis to make a difference through giving blood.

Whether you are yet to make that first donation, or have already made a few, why not make it a sociable experience and make a #Date2Donate?

We delve into the importance of the A-negative donor; offering a blood type that is in high demand, particularly so because A-negative platelets can be given to any patient, regardless of their ABO group. And what’s more, A-negative runs in families! Read about how Sam Hill, his father and younger brother all share this very important blood group, and how you could help if you are an A-negative donor too.

We hear from Joanne Wareing, whose inspirational fight with Burkitt lymphoma and the sharing of her story through her online blog has encouraged more than 100 people to give blood.

Marathon runner Sam Roden shares his ‘pledge a pint’ legacy and asks you to pick up the baton by asking your nearest and dearest to make a donation of a different kind when they sponsor your spring and summer sporting challenges.

We explain why it’s more important now than ever to share your views about organ donation, following the Government’s consultation into the proposed ‘opt out’ system for England.

We’d also like to invite you to share your thoughts and help us to shape future research led by our scientists by joining our patient advisory group.

Finally, I’d like to thank all of you for committing to saving lives by becoming a blood donor – whether you have signed up to be a donor recently or have been donating for a little while.

Thank you for being there. Thank you for giving blood. Thank you for sharing.

Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive

Write and tell us your news, views and interesting or unusual donor stories by emailing thedonor@nhsbt.nhs.uk