In a powerful collaboration, Australian Red Cross Lifeblood and Cancer Council have launched a joint initiative urging Australians to step up and donate blood and plasma, as the demand for these life-saving products escalates.
The call to action follows World Cancer Day on Sunday, February 4, with both organizations aiming to raise awareness about the vital role donors play in supporting those living with cancer.
Cancer patients are the largest consumers of donated blood in Australia, and the need for blood and plasma has never been more pressing. Over 10,000 blood donations are currently required weekly to assist individuals battling cancer, a number that is expected to surge by 72% by 2040, reflecting the anticipated increase in cancer diagnoses.
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Professor Tanya Buchanan, CEO of Cancer Council, emphasized the critical role of blood and plasma as the incidence of cancer rises. “As cancer diagnoses skyrocket in the coming years, the demand for life-saving blood products will similarly increase. We’re facing a future where nearly 1 in 2 Australians will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85, and the need for support through blood donations is more crucial than ever.”
Cath Stone, Lifeblood’s Executive Director of Donor Experience, highlighted a common misconception surrounding blood usage. “Contrary to popular belief, a substantial portion of blood and blood products—34%, to be exact—are used by cancer patients, making them the largest group of blood recipients in Australia. With a significant uptick in cancer diagnoses expected, we’re calling for 100,000 new donors this year alone.”
To further emphasize the importance of blood and plasma donations, Melbourne-based designer and committed blood donor Beci Orpin has designed a limited-edition bandage adorned with a sunny daffodil print. These special bandages will be distributed to donors at Lifeblood donor centers throughout February.
Orpin shared her motivation for becoming a regular donor, stating, “I started donating blood at 18, encouraged by my parents. However, it was a friend’s cancer diagnosis that truly spurred me to become a regular donor. Donating blood felt like a practical and impactful way to contribute and help numerous people facing situations like my friend’s. Nearly a decade later, I continue to donate regularly.”
This joint initiative aims not only to meet the current demand for blood and plasma but also to prepare for the growing needs of cancer patients in the years to come. Your donation could be a lifeline for someone facing the challenges of cancer, and every contribution counts. Stand with Australian Red Cross Lifeblood and Cancer Council to make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer.
To contribute to this crucial cause, Australians are encouraged to book their blood donation appointments by calling 13 14 95, booking online at lifeblood.com.au, or using the DonateBlood app.
If you or someone you know needs support or information related to cancer, contact Cancer Council on 13 11 20.