Red Cross blood donor notches up 46th donation after cancer scare

Red Cross blood donor notches up 46th donation after cancer scare

A MAN who survived prostate cancer has donated more than 21 litres of blood in his lifetime – that’s more than five times the volume of blood in the average adult body.

After five years of being cancer-free, Adrian Lester gave his 46th donation at the Perth Blood Centre this month.

The West Swan resident said he was a monthly donor before he discovered the cancer, but donating again was on his bucket list.

“Coming back to donate blood meant I was fully recovered,” Mr Lester said.

“You’re never sure if you’ve actually recovered from cancer, but if you survive for five years after, you’re out of the danger zone.”

Mr Lester, a Prostate Cancer Foundation ambassador and executive director at a family-owned Nedlands business, said his mother and father had cancer, so he had early check-ups.

“In May 2010, I had a check-up that showed pre-cancerous cells so I had my prostate taken out in August that year,” he said.

Mr Lester regularly speaks at sporting, corporate, seniors and women’s associations to raise awareness of prostate cancer.

“Three hundred WA men die from prostate cancer every year and they don’t need to,” he said.

“The whole message is if you get annual check-ups early, it’s not a terminal cancer, but if you find out too late, it’s too late.”

Red Cross spokeswoman Jessica Willet said Australia needed 25,000 blood donations every year.

“We are very dependent on our regular blood donors and when they get deferred for medical or travel reasons, we are always looking for more,” Ms Willet said.

“To have Adrian come back is really fantastic and we hope he becomes a regular donor because every donation saves three lives.”

September is International Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.