THE Mount Gambier Bowls Club was turned into a blood donor centre recently as the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood team visited the region.
Donors from across Mount Gambier and the surrounding areas rolled up their sleeves including Cassie Levison, who has donated blood five times, along with her son Cody.
Ms Levison first donated blood when she was 18 years old, compelled to do so by the knowledge that it helps people, especially sick children.
It’s a conviction that has stuck with her throughout her life and one that she is trying to pass onto her son Cody, who donated blood for the first time last week.
“My mum brought it up and I thought I should try it… the unique experience that comes from [giving blood] ” he said.
However, Cody did have some concerns; like many people who might want to give blood, Cody was nervous about feeling light headed or queasy during the procedure.
“I got my blood taken out one other time for a blood test and that didn’t go so well, I was feeling pretty sick afterwards, so it’s good to know that this time it went more smoothly and I’m feeling good,” he said.
“I think the main thing that stopped it from happening [again] was that I took the proper precautions beforehand.
“So having the right amount of water and having enough food before you go makes a big difference.
“If you do it correctly, you will feel fine.”
A Lifeblood spokesperson said that it was normal for some people to feel nervous about donating blood, “but it doesn’t need to stop you from giving life.”
“There are always patients in hospital who need blood for trauma, major surgery, cancer treatment, pregnancy and a host of other situations,” they said.
“There is no substitute for blood and we need all types, every day, to help Australian patients.”
On average, Australia needs around 33,000 donations of blood each week with one blood donation able to save up to three lives.
“I encourage everyone to donate blood, if you have got some time, about an hour or so, come in dontae blood and get some free snacks afterwards,” Ms Levison said.
The Lifeblood pop up clinic will be in Naracoorte from November 22 until November 25, returning to Mount Gambier in February 2022.
To book an appointment call 13 14 95, visit lifeblood.com.au or download the free Donate Blood app.