Bloody Good Types: Donors step up for cause

By Brittany Keogh

Thanks New Zealand - you're bloody marvellous.

Almost 1600 people have signed up to become first-time blood donors as part of a New Zealand Blood Service drive supported by NZME, publisher of the Herald.

In total, 1590 came forward in a week when the Herald ran a series of articles highlighting the need for new donors in its Bloody Good Types campaign.

They join the 110,000 New Zealanders who are currently active donors.

Blood Service spokesman Nephi Arthur said the public's response to the campaign had been "amazing".

"It was just great to see."

Major companies had read the media coverage and joined the drive alongside ordinary Kiwis, he said.

But Mr Arthur said people had to "keep spreading the word" about the need for blood donors.

This week's effort kickstarted a drive for 10,000 new Kiwi blood donors. A single donation can save up to three lives.

Before the campaign started, the number of registrations coming through the Blood Service website averaged 5-10 a day. This week it's been around 400.

According to the service's annual report, the number of registered donors declined by 15 per cent between the financial years ending 2011 and 2015.

The most in-demand blood types are A and O.

A cancer survivor from Rotorua is among those to sign up.

Emma Short has been cleared to give blood again after a cancer scare. Photo / Stephen Parker
Emma Short has been cleared to give blood again after a cancer scare. Photo / Stephen Parker

Emma Short battled thyroid cancer in 2010. She will celebrate five years in remission in November and wants to donate blood as a Christmas present to recipients.

The 23-year-old said her grandmother, who donated her organs after she died, inspired her to become a blood donor.

"I just think 'why not?' It's free and it saves people's lives."

To become a donor, go to nzblood.co.nz/missingtype.

- NZ Herald

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