14 June 2017
This World Blood Donor Day the focus is on the donors themselves, to give thanks to all blood donors who give around the world without receiving payment.
Giving blood may not be in the forefront of everybody's mind, but in recent times we have seen hundreds of people turning up outside blood donor centres to do something amazing and extremely humane. Giving blood changes lives and saves them too, no matter what background they are from. This is an act of selfless generosity that literally comes from the heart.
As a recipient and regular donor, I know how important blood donations can be. Ten years ago my world was turned upside down when my wife, Kerry required 13 blood transfusions and a few more of plasma and platelets to keep her alive during a traumatic premature labour in which our beautiful son Christian was still born. In 2009, Kerry was to receive another 6 units during another harrowing premature labour with our gorgeous daughter Amy, who came through the ordeal thanks to the care she and we all received.
It goes without saying that we are eternally grateful to those who give blood, not knowing what they have done in that few minutes it takes to donate.
So I ask you to think about giving blood today - but importantly to continue giving. Pay into the blood bank now as you never know when a friend or family member or even yourself may need it.
By Rick Mills
Rick is the curator of #bloodnotmoney, a campaign aimed to increase the numbers of blood donors in memory of his son Christian.