Blood donor's red badge of courage
The blood and plasma donations made by the Australian Defence Force Academy Bandmaster has potentially saved the lives of more than 900 Australians.
Starting with whole blood donations in the 1980s, WO2 Reynolds now makes regular plasma donations where a single donation creates as many as eighteen different life-saving treatments.
“I am really dedicated to saving lives of people not only as a blood donor but as a bone marrow donor,” WO2 Reynolds said.
“Initially, I gave whole blood donations, but then I had the opportunity to donate each fortnight with plasma.”
WO2 Reynolds’ milestone was celebrated by Red Cross Blood Service staff who decorated the donor centre in Garran.
Australian Red Cross NSW/ACT Donor Services Manager, Steve Eldridge, praised WO2 Reynolds for reaching the milestone of 300 donations.
"Graeme's donations have made an extraordinary impact on the lives of those who need blood,” Mr Eldridge said.
"A blood donation gives a patient undergoing chemotherapy the extra strength they need to make it through treatment, Anti-D donors give pregnant mums the extra chance to have a healthy baby and bone marrow donors give patients another chance at life."
"Every donation help to save three lives, but his contribution has stretched so much further.”
"Graeme has given the families of many seriously ill patients extra time together."
WO2 Reynolds frequent donations have been key to helping Army succeed in the annual Defence Blood Challenge, which challenges Defence civilians and Navy, Army and Air Force personnel to make the greatest number of blood donations.
His donation today has taken Army’s tally since 1 September to 879, which has them in the lead ahead of Air Force with 578, Defence civilians with 404 and Navy with 333. The challenge concludes on 8 December.
Defence is aiming for 6,000 blood donations in 2015 to help the Australian Red Cross deliver life saving blood products to the Australian community.