Sandy Walker has donated blood 50 times

PRESTIGIOUS: Sandy Walker (third from left) was awarded for 50 blood donations at an Australian Red Cross Blood Service at Orange.
PRESTIGIOUS: Sandy Walker (third from left) was awarded for 50 blood donations at an Australian Red Cross Blood Service at Orange.

An act that’s often overlooked is giving blood.

A lot of people need it, but not enough people do it.

For Mudgee’s Sandy Walker, it’s a habitual deed that he’s been doing ever since he was at high school.

Sandy’s 74 now and was recently honoured for his 50th blood donation but if records were kept earlier, Sandy thinks he’d be over the 100 mark by now.

Red Cross community relations officer John Fiest says by donating blood 50 times, Sandy’s saved 150 lives.

“When Sandy makes a donation, the blood gets sent to our processes centre in Sydney and each donation helps to save three lives.”

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Orange’s ceremony came amid National Blood Donor week, a seven-day period where the nation stops to recognise those who give their blood.

“We acknowledged milestone donors, people who have cracked milestones in the last 12 months,” he said.

“So for people who have donated by multiples of 50. Our highest donor at Orange was 350.”

Red Cross is currently meeting its donation targets nationwide, but advancements in medicine are increasing the demand for blood.

“Medical science is increasing very quickly,” he said.

“These advancements have us forecasting that by 2022, we’ll need double the number of plasma donations.”

“There’s also a lot of reasons why existing donors might not be able to donate such as cold or flu or ageing out – 81 is the maximum age, so we still need people at the ready.”

So while the quota is currently being met, only 1/30 Australians currently donate blood, yet 1 in 3 people will need access to blood at some stage in their life.

The Red Cross will be visiting Mudgee in October where you can join Sandy between October 8-11(Monday-Thursday) and 15-16 (Monday-Tuesday).

It’s preferred that those willing to donate make an appointment through the donateblood.com.au website, as it’s not guaranteed you’ll be able to donate if you don’t make a booking.​

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