National Blood Donor Week: Wilson man has been ‘bloody legend’ for 25 years


Wilson’s Ralph Witschge has saved 900 lives through blood donations.
Wilson’s Ralph Witschge has saved 900 lives through blood donations.

WILSON resident Ralph Witschge has donated the equivalent of a large bathtub of blood to the Red Cross since he became a donor in 1992.

Mr Witschge (60) is one of the 517 Perth blood donors recognised at the National Blood Donor Week for having made a milestone number of lifesaving blood donations.

He is among 40,000 blood donors from across the Perth metro area who together gave a combined 116,500 blood donations in the past 12 months.

Mr Witschge, who is an HR professional at the Department of Agriculture and Food, started donating blood once a month when he worked at Princess Margaret Hospital 25 years ago motivated to help sick children.

These days he donates plasma every second week at the Cannington Blood Donor Centre.

He said his focus on keeping healthy kept him motivated to continue donating.

His exercise routine includes swimming close to 1km three days a week at Royal Perth Hospital’s heated outdoor pool and playing soccer twice a week, as well as cycling regularly.

“I just feel rewarded giving blood, I feel I am contributing. There is no pain attached to it,” he said.

National Blood Donor Week is an annual celebration for the Australian Red Cross blood service to recognise all donors who have saved lives through blood donation.

Blood service spokesperson Jessica Willet said she hoped more Perth people would be inspired to donate blood.

“Winter is a traditionally tough time for the blood service because many regular donors can’t give blood due to cold and flu symptoms.”

For more information call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au.

Ralph Witschge donor stats

– Total number of donations: 306
– Number of lives saved: 900
– Volume of blood donated: Close to 140 litres
– Donation type: Plasma

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