Young or old, blood donors are needed

Seb Vosikis and Allan Upston are passionate about donating blood.
Picture: Bruce Hunt        d464184
Sebastian Vosikis (20) and Allan Upston (80) are on opposite ends of the age spectrum, but share the same commitment to blood donations.
Seb Vosikis and Allan Upston are passionate about donating blood. Picture: Bruce Hunt        d464184 Sebastian Vosikis (20) and Allan Upston (80) are on opposite ends of the age spectrum, but share the same commitment to blood donations.

AT 80 years of age, Allan Upston is nearing the end of his journey as a blood donor, while 20-year-old Seb Vosikis is just starting his.

Mr Upston, of Ballajura, said he started donating when he was about 18 and working in the coal mines in New Zealand.

“I just wanted to help people,” he said.

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“They’re always wanting blood and there were a lot of accidents out there.”Mr Upston donated about 90 times in New Zealand and continued when he moved to Australia.

For the past few years, he has donated every two weeks and has just notched up 522 donations.

“I do it just to help people; it goes to about 18 different things, I think,” he said.“It’s a worthwhile cause and everyone who can donate, should do it,” he said.

Mr Upston will have to retire from donating blood in October when he turns 81.

“I will miss it, it’s become a ritual over the past few years,” he said.

“I’ve encouraged my grandchildren, who are 22 and 16, to donate too and we usually go on the same day.”

Darch resident Seb Vosikis started donating last year and has already made eight donations.

“My parents were donors, so I thought ‘why not’,” he said.

“Blood products don’t last a long time, so they’re constantly in need of new supply.”

Mr Vosikis said he tried to donate as often as he could and would “definitely” continue in the future.As two of Edgewater Blood Donor Centre’s oldest and youngest donors, the pair are encouraging others to roll up their sleeves, particularly on Australia Day.

So far, just five donors are booked in to donate blood in Edgewater on the public holiday, with another 35 needed between 8am and noon.

“Blood donation takes just one hour – it’s such a short time spent saving three Australian lives,” said Blood Service spokeswoman Jess Willet said.To make an appointment, go to www.donateblood.com.au or call 13 14 95.