JARRAHDALE’S Jeffrey Palmer is quietly saving lives every fortnight.
The local resident has helped an estimated 1350 people with his 450 blood donations, making him one of the biggest donors in Perth.
He first gave blood in 1978 when a mobile donation centre came to work, and he started giving plasma in the 1980s.
What keeps him going back to donate?
“You don’t want to put down a free tea and bikkies, do you?” Mr Palmer said.
“No… I think most people need to feel they’re doing something for someone. And this is something I can do. So that’s why I keep going.”
Mr Palmer donates plasma every two weeks at the Rockingham Blood Donor centre.
“It doesn’t cost you anything, I don’t think it’s a big deal myself. It’s not like it’s putting me out… about an hour of your time, and that’s it. It doesn’t even cost you blood, because your body makes it up again. You can donate, and get it back without taking it,” Mr Palmer said.
“The staff at the blood bank are very good; they always make you feel special, they always make you feel welcome.”
The Jarrahdale resident is also a volunteer firefighter at his local station in his spare time.
“It’s not for everybody. There’s a lass on my street, she’s a volunteer ambo. Blood and gore would turn me, but it doesn’t bother her, like fighting the fires. Different people can do different things.”
Mr Palmer said anyone thinking about donating blood should give it a go.
“Give it a try… If you can do it, great, if you can’t do it, at least you tried,” he said.
“I’ve been fortunate, I’ve been blessed with good health. So I’ll share it a bit. Some people have medical problems through no fault of their own.”
Mr Palmer was recognised at a ceremony at His Majesty’s Theatre as part of National Blood Donor Week.
The annual celebration recognises those who have donated to help their fellow Australians, and is also a time when the Blood Service calls for more people to become donors.
Perth donors have given more than 55,000 litres of blood in the past year and helped saved the lives of close to 350,000 people.
“Winter is a traditionally a tough time for the Blood Service because many regular donors can’t give blood due to cold and flu symptoms,” Blood Service spokeswoman Jessica Willet said.
“We’d love to see some new donors give blood at any of our Perth donor centres to help ensure that we maintain blood stocks over the winter period.”
To find out more about giving blood, call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au.