blank
Connect with us

Welsh Blood Service

Younger generation urged to ‘help fight against blood cancer’

Published

on

The first person to ever donate bone marrow in Wales is calling on more 17 to 30-year-olds to help fight against blood cancer ahead of World Cancer Day (Friday 4 February).

Each year three in ten blood cancer patients will not find the potentially life-saving bone marrow match they need, which is why Julie Penketh and the Welsh Blood Service are encouraging more people to join the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry.

Advertisement

Since donating her bone marrow three decades ago, Julie has continued to urge others to join by donating blood or by returning a home-delivered, needle-free swab-kit, which can be ordered in minutes online.

Receiving a swab kit through the post (Image: Welsh Blood Service)

Julie commented: “If you’re fit, healthy, and aged between 17 and 30, you must consider joining the Registry. The new swab-kit service only takes a few minutes, you can do it in the privacy of your home at a time that suits you, and you could go on to save someone’s life.

“It’s a really proud feeling thinking I may have helped someone in need, and I hope more people will come forward knowing what a difference they can make. Overall, my donation experience was a hugely positive one and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it all again.

“I have children and grandchildren now. Touch wood none of them will need a transplant like this, but you never know. I would urge anyone eligible to do something amazing today and sign up to the panel.”

Blood cancers stop bone marrow from working correctly and for these patients, the best hope of recovery is to receive a bone marrow transplant. Registries across the globe are searched every day by healthcare professionals looking for suitable bone marrow matches for their blood cancer patients.

Dr Keith Wilson, a Consultant Haematologist at University Hospital of Wales, explains: “Blood cancer patients worldwide face a daily, and increasingly urgent, search for a suitable bone marrow match. The requirements for matching a patient with a bone marrow donor are very specific, which is why we need to continue increasing the number of people on the Registry. This is the best way to give more blood cancer patients the chance to overcome the disease.”

Advertisement

Currently, over 50,000 patients across the globe are hoping to find a suitable bone marrow match from an unrelated donor.

Christopher Harvey, Head of the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry, said: “The chances of being chosen as the perfect match for a patient anywhere in the world is extremely rare, but the opportunity to find a life-saving match increases as more donors sign up.

“It’s an awe-inspiring concept. You could be the one and only person in the world who could be the match – and that’s why we need more people to sign up to the Welsh Bone Marrow Registry and increase a patient’s chance of survival.”

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Neath Port Talbot

Swansea and NPT residents urged to give someone the best gift this Christmas by giving blood

Published

on

By

A mother who needed in-the-womb blood transfusions during her pregnancy and a man who depends on regular, lifesaving blood donations are encouraging communities across Wales to give ‘the best gift’ this Christmas by donating blood.

The Welsh Blood Service is preparing to face Winter pressures on its services and is hoping their new Christmas campaign, ‘the best gift’, will raise awareness about the importance of donating blood and the lifesaving difference it makes.

Advertisement

Last December over 1,000 donations of blood and blood products were needed across Swansea to provide care to patients at Morriston,  Singleton and Neath Port Talbot hospital. These donations play a vital role by supporting a range of treatments from helping recovering accident victims and patients with blood cancers to supporting mothers and new-born babies during childbirth.

Blood donations were needed during both pregnancies for mother of two, Shelley Parry (pictured top). After her own life was saved during her first pregnancy, Shelley received several more blood transfusions directly into her womb to keep her youngest daughter alive.

Shelley explains: “Receiving blood is truly the best gift we have ever received. We’re forever indebted as a family to those who have taken the time to donate. Without the generosity of blood donors, quite simply, we wouldn’t be parents. Thanks to their selfless act, we can look forward to Christmas together as a family.

“It only takes one hour of your time to donate, if you can, please consider donating.”

Also supporting the campaign is blood recipient Giggs Kanias. Since birth, Giggs has received over 1,000 blood transfusions as part of his treatment for beta thalassaemia major, a severe blood disorder. Thanks to blood donors, Giggs is looking forward to celebrating Christmas with his family.

Advertisement
Giggs Kanias is supporting the campaign having received over 1,000 blood transfusions since birth as part of his treatment for beta thalassaemia major, a severe blood disorder.

Giggs said: “I am so thankful to the incredible people who give blood. When I’m in hospital, I stare at the bags of blood being transfused into me and always wonder, who is the person that has helped me?

“I know the difference these people have made to my life and I’m so grateful to each and every one of them. Without their generosity, I wouldn’t be here today, I wouldn’t be a dad, or have had the opportunity to see my daughter grow up. Receiving blood is truly the best gift anyone could ever receive.”

Alan Prosser, Director of the Welsh Blood Service, said: “For patients like Giggs, receiving blood will be the best gift they receive this Christmas. It truly is the best gift you can give.

“Blood products have a short shelf life and is needed by hospitals 365 days a year, including Christmas day, to help support patients in need, which is why we can’t stop collecting.”

The Welsh Blood Service provides lifesaving blood products to 20 hospitals across Wales and four Wales Air Ambulance aircraft for use in emergencies.

Alan continues: “It is critical the service prepares. We need to build up blood stocks ahead of a potentially challenging winter, where seasonal illnesses and Covid-19 may exacerbate the usual winter pressures faced by the NHS.

Advertisement

“We are reaching out to communities across Wales to ask them to make a lifesaving blood donation and give ‘the best gift’ this festive season.”

Do something amazing this Christmas. Give someone the best gift. Give blood. If you are aged 17 or over, book to give blood at: http://www.wbs.wales/Xmas21 or call 0800 252 266 today.

Appointments are available in Swansea on 16 December and January 10 at the Swansea.com Stadium, 17 December in Killay, 20, 21 and 30 December in the Swansea Marriott Hotel, 7 January in Pontlliw Village Hall and 17, 18, 27 and 31 January in the Swansea Village Hotel.

Appointments are available in NPT on 13 and 14 December and January 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 26 at the Theatre Royal Port Talbot and 22 December at the Llandarcy Academy of Sport.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Welsh Blood Service

Son’s pledge to raise awareness of blood donations after losing his father to cancer

Published

on

By

A young blood donor from Swansea is on a mission to inspire other young people to follow in his footsteps. 

After losing his father to stomach cancer in 2014, Shaun Morgans became one of the youngest donors in the UK to make over 25 blood donations. Every donation can help up to three patients meaning his commitment to donating could have saved up to 75 people in need.

Advertisement

Now 24 years old, Shaun began donating blood at the age of 17 and is urging others to follow in his footsteps.

Shaun said: “I saw first-hand how important blood donations were for my father, which is why I became a blood donor. Since then, I’ve been determined to do everything I can to support others in similar circumstances.

“Only three per cent of those who can donate do, and that’s why it’s vital to me as a young donor to raise awareness. Not many people realise that you can donate once you turn 17. 

“I’m proud to have taken my younger brother to his first blood donation too, alongside my mum, we’ll continue to donate as a family.”

Avid runner Shaun’s desire to promote blood donation went beyond the donation chair recently too as he discovered Welsh Blood Service’s ‘Giving Runs in Your Blood’ initiative.

Advertisement

Shaun was one of three amateur athletes who secured a ‘Welsh Blood Service’ spot at the recent Newport 10k. The runners each pledged to help raise awareness about the importance of blood donations and hopefully inspire new donors to sign up too.

The ‘Giving Runs in Your Blood’ initiative was launched with the support of Run4Wales and Welsh Athletics, the Welsh Blood Service’s latest community partners. The three organisations have joined together to encourage amateur and professional runners across Wales to make lifesaving blood donations.

These donations play a vital role in saving lives each day by supporting a range of treatments, from helping recovering accident victims and patients with blood cancers to supporting mothers and new-born babies during childbirth. The Welsh Blood Service needs to collect 350 blood donations a day to supply the 20 hospitals across the country.

Giving blood is considered an essential service and donation sessions have continued across Wales throughout the pandemic with additional safety measures introduced to meet Welsh Government guidance.

Shaun added: “Thanks to donors, my family were able to spend extra time with my father. If you’re fit and healthy, please book an appointment to give blood. You really can make a huge difference for so many people.”

Advertisement

Appointments are available on 6, 16 December and 10 January at the Swansea.com Stadium, 17 December in St Hilary’s Church Hall Killay, 20, 21, 30 December at the Swansea Marriott Hotel, 7 January at Pontlliw Village Hall and 17, 18, 27 and 31 January at the Swansea Village Hotel.

To find out more about becoming a blood donor, please visit www.wbs.wales/running  or call 0800 252 266.

Continue Reading

Health

Give blood and help save lives in Swansea

Published

on

By

Local residents are being called upon to help patients in need by giving blood with the Welsh Blood Service.

Across Swansea over 1,000 donations of blood and blood products are needed each month to provide care to patients at Morriston Hospital and Singleton Hospital.

Advertisement

Despite the pandemic, hospitals still need daily blood donations to treat patients with a range of conditions, including mothers and babies during childbirth; cancer patients receiving chemotherapy as part of their treatment; and by patients involved in emergencies.

One donation has multiple uses as it can be split into three products red cells, platelets and fresh-frozen plasma, meaning one donation can save or improve up to three adults or six babies lives.

Appointments are available at three locations in Swansea at the Village Hotel on Thursday 07 October and Wednesday 27 October, Swansea.com Stadium on Thursday 14 October and Friday 15 October, and St. Hilary’s Church Hall, Killay on Friday 01 October and Friday 15 October.

Alan Prosser, Director of the Welsh Blood Service, said: “Every day around 350 donations are needed to help the 20 hospitals in Wales we supply, including three hospitals in the Swansea Bay University Health Board region.

“We’ve always had great support from our donors in the area, but we’re hopeful that more residents will consider becoming blood donors themselves and supporting us. At this time, attendance at some of our clinics is not what we would like it to be.

“We are particularly calling on existing O blood type donors to come forward. If you are a new donor and don’t know your type don’t worry, please sign up and we’ll do that bit for you.

Advertisement

“Last month, 622 potentially lifesaving donations were made in Swansea.

“As a Service, we rely on the generosity of people living in Wales to provide vital donations to patients.

“By giving up just one hour of your time, you have a unique opportunity to make a difference to people in your community and beyond.”

Additional safety measures have also been introduced at the donation sessions, social distancing guidelines are followed, all staff wear PPE, and every item is cleaned between use.

Alan continued: “If you’ve never donated before, why not try something incredible this week – sign up to donate at one of the sessions in your local area and become a lifesaver.”

Advertisement

If you are aged between 17 and 66, book a lifesaving donation at: welshblood.org.uk or call 0800 252 266 today.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Swansea Bay News