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Amazing volunteers roll up their sleeves; DONORS: True lifeblood of the nation honoured during a special day.

Byline: Cara Simpson

MORE than 100 donors in Coventry did something amazing by rolling up their sleeves to give a pint of blood.

Blood donors attended a session at the Methodist Central Hall in the city centre to mark World Blood Donor Day, on Sunday.

The hall was decorated with bunting and flags from across the globe to mark the occasion.

Simon Cann, aged 47, a civil servant from Northampton, gave blood for the 55th time.

He said: "I've been giving regularly ever since I was 18 years old. I do it because I like to know a bank of blood would be available if I needed it." World Blood Donor Day takes place annually on June 14 to celebrate the birth of Karl Landsteiner, the Nobel Prize winner who discovered the ABO blood group system.

Every year, blood services across the globe join together in thanking dedicated donors for their help in saving and improving the lives of people in their communities.

This year, the regional National Blood Service joined forces with organisers of the

British Transplant Games, which takes place in Coventry from July 30-August 2.

About 90 per cent of transplant patients require a blood transfusion during treatment.

As part of the partnership, the annual event was promoted along with the Coventry Telegraph Donor Run in the War Memorial Park on August 1.

While people waited to give blood, they tasted a range of culinary delights, reminding them that the event was a truly global occasion.

Grace Newman, aged 52, of Leamington, received a donor kidney in 1999. She will be competing in the Coventry Team against transplantees from across the country.

Like many organ recipients she also benefitted from countless pints of donor blood. She said: "I had a lot of blood while I was on dialysis, waiting for a kidney.

"It's because I became anaemic that I needed extra blood, so, without the donor blood, I don't know what I would have done." Lynda Hamlyn, chief executive of NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "I would like to thank our dedicated and selfless donors who roll up their sleeves on a regular basis to help others.

"They really are the lifeblood of the service and we appreciate their fantastic contribution, not just on special days like today.

"However, only four per cent of those who are eligible to give blood actually donate and as up to 7,000 units of blood are needed daily, it is vital that we keep blood stocks at a healthy level to save and improve the lives of other people.

"I hope that more people will do something amazing - give blood and help save a life." Anyone aged over 17, weighing more than 50 kg (7 st 12 lbs) and in general good health could potentially start saving lives by becoming a blood donor.

To book an appointment, call 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.

blood.co.uk.

To sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register, call 0845 6060 400 or visit www.uktransplant.

org.uk or www.coventrytelegraph.

net/donor

CAPTION(S):

YOU CAN BANK ON US... Simon Cann (left), who donated his 55th pint of blood, with Laura Millward (donor relations assistant) and Mary Hughes (donor carer) and (above) Grace Newman, who is taking part in the British Transplant Games and Carl Bainbridge of Coventry City Council. Pictures: James Balfour JB120609bloo-01
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jun 17, 2009
Words:564
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