GIFT OF LIFE: Josie Prow donates blood at a demountable blood service at Yamba Bowling Club.
GIFT OF LIFE: Josie Prow donates blood at a demountable blood service at Yamba Bowling Club. Ebony Stansfield

Red Cross deliver devastating blow

A DETERMINED local has expressed her devastation that the Red Cross Blood Service won't be sending a blood bank to Grafton.

Two weeks ago Tegan Morgan created a petition to make blood donation possible for country Australians, in honour of Holly Butcher who died from Ewing's sarcoma.

The petition now has more than five thousand signatures, and has gained traction around the Clarence Valley.

On Tuesday afternoon Morgan spoke to Australian Red Cross Blood Service's National Donor Services Manager, Steve Eldridge and posted an update on her petition page.

She announced that Mr Eldridge had told her that it was not possible to extend the blood services to regional and rural donors.

"Mr Eldridge explained that it was not possible to extend these services any further, as this would draw resources away from permanent collection centres and create unnecessary competition."

"For the time being, these services will continue, though with plasma donations set to outnumber whole blood donations in 2018, there is a definite shift towards resourcing permanent collection centres as a matter of priority."

"Unfortunately for those of us in country Australia, logistics and practicalities outweigh our giving country spirit. It is simply a matter of supply and demand, statistics and data."

Mr Eldridge told Miss Morgan that blood donation centres must be where the people are- in population dense metropolitan areas.

"For those of us in rural and regional Australia, it may feel like we have lost this battle. But we can still ensure that mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters and partners get the blood they need."

"Our priority now, as passionate country people, is to instil some of our kind, giving spirit into our city counterparts."

Miss Morgan is working with the Red Cross and Holly's family in the coming months to organise a donation day at the Coffs Harbour Collection Centre in honour of Holly.

"I will update you with details of this - and how to join - once it has been confirmed with the Red Cross."

Red Cross Blood Service Queensland held a demountable service at Yamba Bowling Club on Monday and Tuesday of this week.

And both days booked out in their entirety almost a month ago.

The next available dates at Yamba Bowling club are March 26 at 2-6.30pm and March 27 at 10am-2pm. Then April 30 at 2-6.30pm and May 1 at 10-2pm.

To book an appointment call 13 14 95 or online at www.donateblood.com.au for more details.



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