A Rotorua cancer survivor can't wait to give away her blood this Christmas.

Emma Short, 23, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2010. She had her first operation in September 2010 and her second in November 2010 and radioactive iodine treatment the following year.

"I was in isolation for four weeks, which was horrible, but then I was okay. I had tests every few months, just in case it grew back, but they're pretty happy that I'm okay now.

"I will have been in remission for five years in November, and they said I can give blood after that.


"When my nan died she donated all of her organs and my family got to meet the person who had received her heart and ever since then I thought I'd definitely be a donor and definitely donate blood.

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

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"I was thinking I would donate in December so it could be like a Christmas present."

She said when she first found out she had cancer she thought she was going to die.

"It happened over my 18th and 19th birthdays, so I missed those but I have celebrated every one since.

"I never let an opportunity go by now because you just never know. Every day I just live like there is no tomorrow.

"I thank God every day that I'm here and I'm so thankful for the support of my church, Destiny, they were my rock."

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 our campaign, Bloody Good Type.

Fewer than 4 per cent of eligible Kiwis donate blood. The Blood Service has around 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 website to find out how.