Still time to make A-Positive change in Blood Challenge

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Ryan Zerbe (author), ABIS Ryan McKenzie (photographer)

Topic(s): Australian Red Cross Lifeblood, Defence Blood Challenge

Australian Red Cross Nursing Session Leader Jane Pitcher, left, assists Leading Seaman Medic Bronte Whiley during the 2019 Defence Blood Challenge at Dee Why Beach, Sydney. (photo: ABIS Ryan McKenzie)
Australian Red Cross Nursing Session Leader Jane Pitcher, left, assists Leading Seaman Medic Bronte Whiley during the 2019 Defence Blood Challenge at Dee Why Beach, Sydney.

Navy members still have time to roll up their sleeves and give as part the 2019 Defence Blood Challenge.

The challenge ends on 8 December with all eligible members strongly urged to take the time to donate whole blood or plasma.

Now in its eleventh year, the Defence Blood Challenge has contributed more than 100,000 donations, helping people with cancer and blood diseases, patients undergoing surgery and pregnant women, new mothers and babies. 

Navy Blood Challenge Ambassador, Petty Officer JD Byrne, said there were a number of myths about donating blood that make potential Navy donors think they are ineligible.

“Tattoos are a common thing in the Navy. There is a belief is that you can’t donate if you have had a tattoo in the last two years, when in fact it’s only four months,” Petty Officer Byrne said.

“People also think that they can’t donate if they had been deployed overseas, but it depends where you have been. Most likely, you can still donate plasma.

“It’s important for us to continue supporting the Blood Challenge every year because we have the perfect age group, healthy lifestyles and the will to support the Red Cross.

“The Christmas period is a time when blood products are needed more than ever.

“I encourage as many Navy people as possible to make the time to donate before the Blood Challenge ends,” Petty Officer Byrne said.

The annual Defence Blood Challenge is the second largest single-sector blood challenge in Australia and involves members of all three services and Defence civilians competing in a blood challenge over a three month period.

Australian Red Cross Mobile Blood Donor Centre at Dee Why Beach, Sydney.

Australian Red Cross Mobile Blood Donor Centre at Dee Why Beach, Sydney.