ORANGE'S Rowan Jaffray knows firsthand how important blood donations can be.
She’s seen her sister and several close family friends battle and ultimately lose their lives to leukaemia.
It’s these memories she uses as inspiration every time she makes a donation at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service. And that’s quite regularly.
Mrs Jaffray has made more than 200 donations to Red Cross over the years and is one of Orange’s most frequent donators since moving to the city around 12 years ago.
“My mum Noelle was a blood donor and as soon as I was the legal age she took me down to the Red Cross building in Sydney to donate,” she said.
“She taught me how important it was to donate and apart from when I’ve had children I’ve donated ever since.
“I think it’s just something you should do. I’ve had a lot of friends and a sister who have had cancer, and I’ve lost of my friends and my sister to cancer, so I’ve seen how important blood donations can be.”
Mrs Jaffray is one of 70 Orange residents who will receive an award for her contribution to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service this week, which is being celebrated as National Blood Donor Week.
Blood service spokeswoman Erin Clarke estimates Mrs Jaffray’s donations alone have helped make a difference to the lives of more than 600 people.
“Every one of Rowans donations help to save three lives, but her contribution has stretched so much further,” she said.
“Blood donors change more than just the three lives they help to save with each blood donation. A donation of blood has a ripple effect, from the person receiving the blood, right through to their entire family and their friends.
“When you give a blood donation you make an amazing difference not only to the recipient but also to their loved ones. Rowan is just one person but every donation she gives makes an amazing difference to the lives of countless others.”
Ms Clarke estimates Orange alone requires more than 200 donors to come forward, while Australia-wide more than 27,000 donations are needed each week.
To become a blood donor, call 131495 or visit donateblood.com