Kyra is the Rotorua Daily Post's police, emergency and court reporter.

'No excuse' not to give blood

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GIVING: Trish Gordon (left) and Michelle Judd give blood as often as they can. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER
GIVING: Trish Gordon (left) and Michelle Judd give blood as often as they can. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER

Two local women who have been donating blood since they were teenagers say it's because they can't think of a reason why they shouldn't.

Friends Trish Gordon, 31, and Michelle Judd, 54, have both been giving blood since they were in high school.

Mrs Judd said she had stages where she couldn't donate, but she went in just last week.

"I'm keen to go every 90 days. They give me a call when it's time and I go down.

"My husband had a blood transfusion when he was a baby and I just think 'why not?' It's helping other people.

"It [blood] has a short shelf life as well so you have to keep giving so they have the reserves there to help people.

"There's no excuse not to really, it's not even half an hour out of your day and you get biscuits and chocolate and a cup of tea brought to you all while sitting in a recliner chair," Mrs Judd said.

Mrs Gordon said she was 18 when she first gave blood.

"Since, I have given it 12 times - I had to have a break when I moved to Australia for a while and when I had children, as you can't give blood when you are pregnant or breast feeding.

"My husband also had a blood transfusion when he was a baby, but when I was younger we had people come to our school and I wanted to do it.

"I'm also on the records for being able to give bone marrow so if someone who needs it is a match I can give that too.

"I just think there's no reason not to give it. If you give blood you can save a life."

The Rotorua Daily Post has this week been speaking to people whose lives have been saved by blood donors and people who have donated, as part of the campaign Bloody Good Type.

Less than 4 per cent of eligible Kiwis donate blood. The Blood Service has about 110,000 blood donors on its database and about 42,000 people a year receive blood products. Every year around 28,000 drop off the donor registry.

The number of active donors has decreased from 128,412 in the 2011 financial year, to 109,158 last year, according to the service's annual report.

In part this reflects changes in the way blood products are used, but that does not eliminate the need for new donors to join up.

If you would like to donate blood visit the NZ Blood Service www.nzblood.co.nz/give-blood.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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