Lifeblood has teamed up with fashion designer Camilla Franks to encourage Aussies to donate blood this month.
To raise awareness of how donated blood and plasma can help people with cancer, Lifeblood and Camilla have launched a limited-edition bandage which will be rolled onto the arms of donors at Lifeblood's donation centres throughout February.
The appeal is timely, with World Cancer Day having taken place on Saturday, February 4.
With more than 10,000 blood donations required each week to support cancer patients, and with cancer diagnoses predicted to rise by 22 per cent by 2031, the branch of the Australian Red Cross says now is the ideal time to roll up a sleeve.
Over one third (34 per cent) of all blood collected in Australia is used to treat cancer and blood diseases.
Cancer patients often require numerous transfusions of blood, plasma, or plasma medicines during the course of their treatment.
Acute leukaemia patients require an average of nine units of red blood cells, or 36 units of platelets each month. Four donors are required to make up each bag of platelets, and leukaemia patients could require one or both of the aforementioned blood products for the course of their diagnosis - which can last anywhere from eight months to years.
Donor Services executive director Cath Stone, said the belief that most donated blood was used in trauma and emergency situations was a common misconception. She said Lifeblood was counting on 100,000 new donors this year, alone.
"With the number of cancer diagnoses set to increase to around 1.7 million by 2031, we know that the demand for blood and plasma will be greater than ever over the next decade," Ms Stone said.
Camilla said donating blood was a great way of helping loved ones who are battling cancer, or might be treated for it in the future.
"I hope that this design can act as a reminder of that for people - a symbol of hope. Wearing this bandage is a way to show the world that you care," she said.
To book in a donation call 13-14-95, download the DonateBlood app or click HERE.
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