A couple of months ago, a wonderful friend of mine shared some awful news with me, that her beautiful little boy had been diagnosed with a brain tumour.
They were just a regular little family, and Harvey just a regular little toddler, growing up on their property in Darwin, when their world was turned upside down.
They uprooted their lives, being forced to move to Melbourne to be closer to places where he could get the best possible care.
It’s been a bumpy road so far, but he’s been such a champion about it all, and has recently started chemotherapy.
As a result, Harvey has had to have numerous platelet transfusions, as his levels have been dropping dangerously low.
He’s only onto his fourth round of chemo, and has already had his second transfusion in under a week – he’ll need more as the chemo goes on.
And so, my heart broke this week with the news that our country has dangerously low levels of blood, particularly blood type o-negative… Imagine little Harvey, desperately needing a transfusion, but there not being enough to give.
I haven’t donated blood before, but I will be taking myself down to the donor centre as soon as I can, with the words of Harvey’s mum Courtney fresh in my mind.
“Please donate blood and plasma if you are able to. I can’t stress enough how important it is. I didn’t understand how important blood donations were until having a child that needs ones,” she said.
If, like me, you haven’t donated blood before or in a while, and are able to, can I urge you to consider it too?
It’s easy to make an appointment, or even a group appointment through the Australian Red Cross Blood Service website and there are donor centres in most large towns and cities.
Levels of o-negative blood are so low at this time, that the organisation has only two-days of supply in their reserves and they need an extra 4,500 donors to boost stocks up to a normal level.
“The number of people suffering cold and flu symptoms greatly impacts the number of regular donors who are able to give. We need others to take the place of those who will be unable to answer our call,” said Shaun Inguanzo, a spokesperson from the Blood Service
“With one in three of us needing donated blood in our lifetime, the life you save could be that of a friend or family member.”
You can find all the details that you need here: www.donateblood.com.au or call 13 14 95