Son inspired to become blood donor after mum's cancer treatment encourages others to donate for new NHS campaign This Is Amazing - NHS Blood Donation
A Cleveleys man, who was inspired to become a blood donor after his mum required blood and platelet transfusions during cancer treatment, is encouraging others to donate.
Andrew Leeming, 51, is a regular blood donor at Lancaster Blood Donor Centre, where 696 extra appointments have been added for November as part of a new NHS campaign to
encourage more donors to come forward.
It comes as it’s revealed 2,721 fewer donors in Lancaster gave blood during the height of the pandemic.
Around 4,400 dedicated donors regularly donated at the centre at Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Ashton Road, last year, compared with over 7,100 the year before.
When Andrew’s mum became very ill with cancer, blood and platelet transfusions were a regular part of her treatment.
Andrew said: “It was this that reminded me of the simple gift of giving blood. Mum had donated blood over 50 times, so I wanted to do the same and give something back.
“An hour of your time is nothing compared to the impact that each donation means to the patient. You never know when you – or someone you know, love, and cherish – may be on the
receiving end. My mum didn’t give to receive and neither do I, but I now encourage anyone who will listen to donate, as long as they are fit, healthy and able to.”
Andrew aims to reach the 100-donation milestone one day, and his favourite post-donation snack is a bag of ready salted crisps.
He added: “I love donating – I’ve never had a bad experience and all the staff are so caring, careful, and smiley.
“If you are fit and healthy it’s a simple thing to do, and most amazingly it literally saves lives. If that’s not enough, why not just see it as an insurance policy in case you become ill and need
some lifesaving red juice!”
Demand for blood is now back at pre-pandemic levels and may increase in the coming months as hospitals continue to catch up on delayed activity.
A new campaign called This Is Amazing - NHS Blood Donation has been launched by the NHS and will run for six weeks.
There is a particular need to recruit more black donors to help treat patients with sickle cell disorder, which is the fastest growing genetic blood condition in the UK, as well new donors with
O negative blood, which is the universal type and is often used for medical emergencies.
Helen Duggan, assistant director of Donor Campaigns at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Maintaining a safe and regular supply of blood to hospitals is our top priority. Through the most
critical time of the pandemic this was achieved thanks to a loyal club of existing donors – the smallest of the 21st century.
“As hospitals catch up on routine care, we are facing a critical crossroads to meet the rise in demand for blood and are appealing for new donors in Lancaster to step forward and join this
amazing group of lifesaving people.”
Become a blood donor. Register today and book and appointment by visiting www.blood.co.uk, downloading the GiveBloodNHS app or calling 0300 123 23 23.