Australians have one more reason to roll up their sleeves in February, with a free designer bandage given to those who donate blood for cancer patients.
Fashion designer Camilla Franks has teamed up with Lifeblood to create the limited edition bandage ahead of World Cancer Day on Saturday.
The bandage will be handed out to anyone who gives blood this month.
“Even in the moments we feel our most helpless, there is something we can do to help a loved one living with cancer. We can give blood,” Ms Franks, a breast cancer survivor, said.
“I hope 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.”
More than 2100 Australians were diagnosed with cancer last year, an annual figure projected to more than double by 2031.
It is still the leading cause of death in Australia, accounting for 30 per cent of all deaths in 2020.
Blood donations played an important role in cancer treatment, Lifeblood Donor Services executive director Cath Stone said.
Thirty-four per cent of all blood collected in Australia is used to treat cancer and blood diseases, with more than 10,000 donations needed each week for cancer patients.
On average, one acute leukaemia patient needs nine units of red blood cells or 36 units of platelets each month.
Four donors are needed to make up each bag of platelets.
“We know that the demand for blood and plasma will be greater than ever over the next decade,” Ms Stone said.
“We need people to become donors now. We need 100,000 new donors this year alone.”
To book an appointment to donate blood, call 13 14 95 or visit lifeblood.com.au
(Australian Associated Press)