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Sixty-eight year old Annette Roberts has helped save over 1,200 lives. As New Zealand’s most generous female donor, she has made an impressive 405 blood donations to date.

The New Zealand Blood Service is recognising the generosity of donors like Annette through a new social media campaign that matches people who regularly receive plasma, with some of New Zealand’s longest-serving whole blood and plasma donors.

The NZBS also has an app that alerts donors to when their blood donation has been used. Every day, 80 New Zealanders need blood or blood products. Every whole blood donation has the potential to save up to three lives.

In another example, the NZBS notes that Peter Sarah, aged 67, has made 267 donations over the last 20 years during which he has saved the lives of around 800 people. One of these is Joshua, now 20, who has received a plasma product every week for almost his whole life and will continue doing so for the rest of his life.  He is now living a relatively normal and healthy life thanks to generous donors like Peter.

“On behalf of the 29,000 people who last year received lifesaving blood and blood products we want to say a heartfelt thank you!” says Asuka Burge, National Manager Marketing and Communications for NZBS.

Every week, rain or shine, blood donors donate their time and their blood to help save the lives of others. For some recipients it makes the difference between life and death, for others it enables them to live a ‘normal’ life in the face of a life-threatening illness.

“We want to say a huge thank you to all the 110,000 wonderful blood donors around New Zealand – you are our heroes.”

This World Blood Donor Day, New Zealand needs more heroes to help share the load to ensure that NZBS can continue to meet demand for blood and blood products in the years to come.

“New Zealand, like many other countries, has seen the demand for plasma grow every year as it is used to treat an increasing number of life-threatening conditions. Many people, particularly those with immune deficiencies, rely on weekly transfusions of plasma to lead a ‘normal’ life.

“Our message is simple, if you can donate, please register today and become part of our lifesaving community.

“Next World Blood Donor Day I’d very much like to be saying thanks to our amazing 165,000 donors!”, says Burge.

Those interested in becoming a blood donor should visit www.nzblood.co.nz or call 0800 448 325 for more information.

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