Cassie Watene with her daughter Callie.
Cassie Watene with her daughter Callie. Aden Stokes

No local blood service...

CENTRAL Highland locals are rolling up their sleeves, willing to donate blood but they have nowhere to do so.

Cassie Watene has been unable to donate blood herself over the last eight years, and now that she can, is hoping to make a difference.

"I've been pregnant or breastfeeding for the last eight years so I have never been able to actually donate,” she said. "I'm finally able to but there's nowhere here to donate.”

The Emerald local started the conversation on social media and received over 1000 responses in only 24-hours.

When she realised there was so much local interest, she contacted the Red Cross to see if it would be possible for a Mobile Blood Bus to visit Emerald.

Unfortunately, she was told it may not be possible for a few years.

Mrs Watene said she would love to donate because she was one of the nine per cent of the population with an O- blood type.

If she or her children "were ever in the situation where we needed blood, I would like to know there will always be some”.

"If you donate you could potentially be saving a life,” she said. "It could be someone you know.

"My mother-in-law has had blood transfusions, my mother has had operation where she had to have a blood transfusion, my brother had an operation and a blood transfusion, so there's people I know that might not be alive if it wasn't for people donating their blood.”

Mrs Watene is not giving up and said she was going to make an effort to donate blood next time she was in Rockhampton, and encouraged others to do the same.

Social media helped raise awareness of blood donations, and Bloodservice spokeswoman Jennifer Campbellcase said that was just one of the ways people could help.

"For people that don't live close, we encourage them to donate when they can,” she said. "If they are heading to Rockhampton, make an appointment, we would love to see you.

"There are also plenty of other ways people can help. Spreading the word about donating blood, social media has such a wide reach.

"Remind your friends and family that donating blood is important. You can become an organ donor - there's plenty of ways people can get involved.”

For more information on how you can get involved, visit donateblood.com.au/


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