HOCKING seven-year-old Eva Renton needs blood every week because of an immune deficiency.
“She doesn’t have a great deal of immunity so she cannot fight infections and viruses herself,” mother Kellie said.
“If we get a cold, we get better but she just gets sicker.”
In January, Eva was diagnosed with common variable immunodeficiency and told she would need weekly doses of globulin, which comes from plasma.
“This means she is getting other people’s immunity,” Mrs Renton said.
“Now she can go to school, play sport and live as a kid. Without it, she can’t and gets sick all the time and she doesn’t have the energy or the ability.”
Eva and her family have been visiting centres around Perth to thank blood donors for helping her.
“I wanted her to understand and be humbled; she can’t get a script, go to the pharmacy and purchase her medication,” Mrs Renton said.
“She is at the mercy of people to donate plasma; it comes from humans being selfless and I wanted her to see the process.
“She wants to thank everyone and I want to thank them for giving me my daughter back.”
Eva and her family are getting behind the Australian Red Cross Blood Service’s call for 100,000 new donors this financial year.
“We just want to promote awareness; if there’s not enough blood, my child can’t be well,” Mrs Renton said.
“An hour of your time means my kid can go to school, play with kids out the front, go to the skate park; all things we take for granted.
“We want to help others stay safe and healthy.”
The Blood Service is uniting with blood donor organisations across 21 countries to highlight an almost 30 per cent international drop in people becoming blood donors compared to a decade ago.
In a survey for the Missing Type campaign, which launched on Tuesday, participating blood services reported the number of people becoming donors and giving blood for the first time was 1.83 million in 2005 and 1.32 million in 2015; a drop of 27.6 per cent.
The 25 blood services, which cover one billion of the world’s population, are calling for new donors to ensure blood donation for future generations.
Throughout the campaign, the letters of the main blood groups – A, B and O – will disappear from brands’ social media accounts such as Qantas, NAB, Coles, Australia Post, RAC, West Coast Eagles and Healthy WA.
“Whether it is patients receiving treatment for cancer, blood disorders, after accidents or during surgery, or new mums who lost blood in childbirth, blood is an absolutely essential part of modern healthcare,” Blood Service chief executive Shelly Park said.
“We really hope those Australians who can, will be inspired by the Missing Type campaign to become blood donors.”
To sign up as a new donor, visit www.donateblood.com.au or support the campaign using #MissingType.
Key barriers to people donating identified by blood services around the world include
– Increasing urbanisation
– Wider and more exotic travel
– People have less time to give in an increasingly busy and digital world
– Lack of awareness about the need for more diverse blood donors
– A rise in the popularity of tattoos