Blood donors needed over holiday period

Penrith local donor Julie Barlow donated plasma for the first time today
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More than 200 Penrith blood donors are needed for Australia’s biggest ‘Secret Santa’ exchange this Christmas in order to prevent a shortage of blood stocks vital to the treatment of cancer patients.

Nepean Donor Centre still needs 200 donors to make an appointment to give blood between Monday, December 24, 2018 and Saturday, January 5, 2019.

Blood donors who give blood or platelets this December will receive a text message to let them know where their Secret Santa gift was sent and a festive tag to give to a loved one.

Blood Service spokesperson Ronny Maroun urged locals to give blood, saying it was the most important Secret Santa they’ll ever do.

“If Secret Santa is about giving anonymous gifts, designed to make someone’s day, then blood donation really is Australia’s ultimate Secret Santa exchange,” he said.

“Blood will be needed by road accident patients, pregnant mums, cancer patients and even premature babies every day this Christmas and New Year’s.

“With many people taking time off this holiday season we need those who can to step up and be a life-changing ‘Secret Santa’ to Australian patients in need, ensuring no one misses out on receiving this incredible gift.”

Mr Maroun said stocks of platelets, a blood component vital to the treatment of cancer patients, were particularly at risk during the Christmas period.

“Your blood donation will be the ultimate gift to Australian patients this Christmas – and will have a far reaching impact on the lives you save, and the lives of their loved ones.

“So this Christmas we’re urging Penrith locals to take part in Australia’s Biggest Secret Santa exchange by making an appointment to give blood between 24 December, 2018 and 5 January, 2019.”

The Blood Service is hoping to welcome 20,000 new donors by Christmas to meet Australia’s growing blood needs. There’s never been a better time to start donating.

To make an appointment to give blood or find out more about Australia’s Biggest Secret Santa, call 13 14 95 or visit

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