Join the League of Blood Donor Heroes

- June 2024
superheroes with red crosses around them

World Blood Donor Day is every 14th of June. We step into the shoes of a real-life superhero…

The hero’s journey:

In cities all around Australia lives an army of quiet superheroes. We wear no cape, no mask, many of us are just ordinary people with an extraordinary power: the power to save lives.

This tale is about one of those half a million active heroes, their transformation and the satisfaction of helping others – a cycle that recurs every 12 weeks for a whole blood donation.

1. Preparation is key to being a hero: The safety of our superhero and donor recipients are front of mind. Adam ensures that he’s fully hydrated, feeling great and has had a meal before heading to the donor centre…

2. Arrival at the Donation Centre: Adam enters the bright, welcoming facility in Modbury (Northern Adelaide), where he is greeted by the friendly staff. It is morning, and the warmth of the autumn sun pierces through the glass of the Donor Centre. The sounds of breakfast TV and casual conversations filter throughout the open space. Other donors, each a silent hero, sit comfortably, ready to make their contribution.

3. The health check: Before the donation begins, Adam undergoes a quick health check. A nurse reviews a questionnaire, followed by a blood pressure and haemoglobin check, ensuring that he is fit to donate. This step is crucial, as it guarantees the safety of both the donor and the recipients.

4. The act of giving: Seated in a reclining chair, Adam shares stories about the footy (AFL) match the night before as he watches the nurse gently inserting a small needle into the vein. The process is nearly painless, and Adam relaxes, turning his attention to reading the news on his phone.

5. The donation: As the last few drops of blood flow into the collection bag (the 470ml takes approximately 10 minutes), Adam reflects on the stories displayed throughout the donor centre. A young mother who will receive a transfusion after a complicated childbirth, the cancer patient whose treatment depends on regular blood donations, and the accident victim whose life hangs in the balance. It will only take 48 hours for Adam’s blood to be replaced in his body, but for those receiving blood products – the impact can be lifelong.

6. The hero’s reward: After the donation, Adam enjoys a snack and a drink, coupled with a 10-minute rest, to make sure he’s okay. After booking his next appointment in 12 weeks’ time, the staff thank Adam on the way out, but the true reward is the knowledge that up to three people will get a chance at life because of this selfless act.

7. A real impact: A few days later, Adam receives a text message, advising that his O+ blood has reached its destination and is being used to help others.

When asked why he donates, Adam responds:

“When I was at high school, we learned about the valuable work the Australian Red Cross does for many people across our country and importance of a continued supply of blood products to help people in need. My first donation was when I was 18, and since then have tried to maintain a donation habit. It makes you feel good that you’re doing a little bit that can make a big difference to someone else.”

Join the League of Blood Donor Heroes

As Parbery reflects on World Blood Donor Day and our team of registered donors, we acknowledge the strong demand for more everyday superheroes, particularly as the winter season kicks in. Cancelled appointments at donor centres are a regular thing (for good reason), however the need for blood is constant, and each donation can make a profound difference.

So, if you can – please answer the call. Become a blood donor and join the league of heroes who save lives, one donation at a time. Every drop counts, and you have the power to be an everyday superhero!

By Adam Constantini, Principal