Donors Sandra and Rodney Fox, Harvey Barkwell and Rolf Ruescher are fortified with drinks and snacks by volunteer Cheryl Zunic
by Michelle Gilmore
I am amazed how many locals I come across each time I donate blood, and every single visit I see Pat and Harvey!
This month I, and the other blood donors, were advised that this would be the blood bank’s last visit to Rainbow Beach and Tin Can Bay.
Responses of attendees was mixed.
Volunteer Cheryl Zunic said, “I think it is a shame ? it is a community effort and the community comes together to give blood. It will make it difficult for some, and you miss out on visitors who drop in to give blood.”
“I have also been surprised how many backpackers also offer – it is a grand gesture and very generous with their time.”
Kathy McFarlane also thought it was a pity. “If they have appointments filled with locals – surely that is better than nothing at all?”
Like myself and other local workers, Kathy thought it would make it harder for her to give blood.
“I don’t go into Gympie as much now, so it will be a hassle to donate.”
Pat Barone gives plasma every fortnight in Maryborough Hospital and times the trip for shopping at the markets.
She says, “It’s convenient that they come here, sure most people can go into Gympie, but they may need to plan a bit more. We understand they are making the service more central; it is a bit of a drive out here.”
Sandra and Rodney Fox from Tin Can Bay say it is only a 25-minute drive to Gympie – so not too hard for them.
They plan to drive in for their three monthly donation. Sandra said, “We realise a lot of people need more blood now than they ever did. They are always calling for more blood because of road trauma and cancer patients.”
Unfortunately, Sandra is correct. The Australian Red Cross website says that long weekends put a strain on Australia’s blood supply. More than 27,000 blood donations are needed every week and there are less days to collect it. Plus during holiday time, there may be an increase in demand. Regular donors are often on holiday at this time as well.
To help boost blood supplies over public holidays please call 13 14 95 or find out where you can donate next at donateblood.com.au.