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Stars Support Unsung Heroes


NEWS RELEASE 11 June 2004
Stars Support Unsung Heroes

New Zealand entertainment and sporting stars are supporting unsung heroes during celebrations for Monday’s inaugural World Blood Donor Day.

Squash legend Dame Susan Devoy, former All Blacks Danny Lee and Sam Harding, Lord of the Rings hero Bruce Hopkins and Silver Ferns Anna Rowberry, Sheryl Scanlan, Belinda Colling, Vilimaina Davu and Jodi Te Huna are among the celebrities who will be at New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) donor centres on Monday morning thanking blood donors for giving the precious gift of life.

Only about 4% of the New Zealand population give blood regularly, yet more than 80% of New Zealanders will need a blood transfusion or blood product during their life.

“People often don’t appreciate how important donating blood is until it affects them or their immediate family,” said NZBS chief executive Dr Graeme Benny. “That’s why we’re paying tribute to the unsung heroes who donate blood regularly and we are also calling for Kiwis to put their hands up to become donors.”

The aim of World Blood Donor Day is not to attract a big influx of new donors on the day itself, but to create wider awareness of the importance of blood donation and encourage people to become regular donors.

With every donation saving up to three lives, the blood service is always on the lookout for new donors.

Only about 4% of the New Zealand population give blood regularly, yet more than 80% of New Zealanders will need a blood transfusion or blood product during their life.

The NZBS is part of the public health service and is a national non-profit organisation which collects blood from volunteer donors for the treatment of patients across the country – from car accident victims and newborn babies, to burn victims and people with illnesses.

All blood types are currently needed from donors aged between 16-60, weighing over 50kg, have had no body piercing or tattoos in the past six months, and did not live in the UK between 1980-1996 for longer than six months.

Just 470mls of blood is taken per donation. The body replaces the fluid in 24-48 hours, and people are able to donate every three months.

You can make an appointment to become a donor by calling 0800 GIVE BLOOD or registering on the website at www.nzblood.co.nz.

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