Delivering a message of thanks
Quinn Hautapu has a special place in her heart for blood donors.
The Palmerston North 8-year-old, who suffered from an aggressive brain cancer, proudly showed off her handful of red courage beads at yesterday's World Blood Donor Day morning tea at the Palmerston North Hospital.
Each red bead represents a time Quinn received a blood transfusion on her cancer journey and she wanted to personally thank those who donate "go-go juice" regularly.
Quinn's mother Roanne said she was grateful for the New Zealand blood service and the donations helped to save her daughter's life.
"We've just come down here to thank the blood donors, without the donors cancer treatment is a lot harder," she said. "The difference in Quinn every time she had a blood transfusion was absolutely amazing. She calls it her go-go juice."
Roanne's message was for New Zealanders to do it for kids like Quinn.
New Zealand Blood Service central region recruitment team leader Debra Buchanan said the day was a celebration to thank the donors.
"It's extra special to have Quinn here to thank the donors. This is why people donate, it's for people like her."
Regular Palmerston North blood donor Jan Bailey said she had been donating for about two years.
"It makes you feel good and it's a simple thing you can do to help."
The theme for this year's World Blood Donor Day, which is officially today, is ‘Safe blood for safe motherhood'.
New Zealand Blood Service national marketing and communications manager Asuka Burge said last year almost 12,000 units of blood and blood products were used by mums and newborns throughout the country.
"We want to say a huge thank you to all our donors, supporters and volunteers who together form part of an amazing lifesaving team," she said.
To coincide with the international celebration a social media pledge campaign has been launched to encourage more Kiwis to pledge their support and become donors, she said.
"Each year NZBS lose up to 28,000 donors due to retirement, ill health or personal choice. By pledging your support, you're helping spread the word about blood donation and most importantly helping NZBS build its donor database, which constantly needs new donors."
Buchanan said the blood service was low on donations from O positive and O negative donors and encouraged anyone with these blood types to make an appointment at the hospital as soon as possible.
The mobile blood service also visited rural areas with a visit to Ohakea planned next week.
To pledge your support on social media visit the blood service Facebook page or use the hashtags #PledgeBloodNZ and #WBDD14.