Long-time donors still roll up their sleeves

Pete Ware has made 466 blood donations and continues to donate plasma and platelets. Picture: Elle Borgward d403615
Pete Ware has made 466 blood donations and continues to donate plasma and platelets. Picture: Elle Borgward d403615

Mr Ware started donating blood in 1968 aged 18. The retiree, now 63, heads down to the Rockingham Red Cross Blood Service Donor Centre once a fortnight.

‘I just started because there was a call for it, a need for more blood, and I figured ‘I could do that’,’ he said.

Mr Ware now donates plasma and platelets rather than blood as they are more valuable to the service.

Secret Harbour man Lindsay Mason has made about 400 donations since he started in 1964. He donates plasma every two weeks.

‘I am passionate about donating. I feel great that I can make a difference. I have met children with cancer and burns victims who have needed blood and this is what spurs me on,’ he said.

When asked how he felt to have helped save so many people, Mr Ware said it was a fantastic feeling to do something for other people.

‘I think everyone who is well enough to do it, should do,’ he said.

July 14 to 21 is National Blood Donor Week, which recognises the outstanding life-saving contributions of Australia’s 600,000 voluntary donors who together give more than 1.35 million blood donations every year.

This year almost 600 Perth residents will be recognised at a ceremony at Winthrop Hall on Saturday, July 13.

Blood Service spokeswoman Jessica Willet said one in three Australians will need blood in their lifetime but only one in 30 actually donates.

‘You never know when you or someone you love will need blood, and there’s no better way to ensure it’s there than to become a blood donor,’ she said.

‘It only takes an hour and every donation can help save up to three lives.’

Australia needs about 27,000 donations a week to meet demand, with cancer patients amongst the biggest users of donated blood.

To donate call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au