Give the gift of life this Christmas

By Ed McLeish

More than 100 Shepparton blood donors are needed between December 23 and January 3 for Australia’s biggest ‘Secret Santa’ exchange this Christmas.

To celebrate the exchange, blood donors will receive a card to give to someone special letting them know they gave blood on their behalf, and they will also be giving someone somewhere the most precious gift they’ve ever received — life.

Lifeblood spokesperson Shae Burns urged locals to give blood and said it was the most important Secret Santa yet.

“More than 100 donors are needed to prevent a possible shortage of blood stocks vital to the treatment of cancer patients,” Ms Burns said.

“Blood and plasma donors are needed in Shepparton on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve between 7.30 am and 3 pm.

“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.”

Blood will be needed by road accident patients, pregnant mums, cancer patients and even premature babies every day during Christmas and the new year.

Ms Burns said stocks of platelets, a blood component vital to the treatment of cancer patients, were particularly at risk during the holiday period.

“It takes four blood donations to make just one bag of platelets for patients and they only last for five days, so donors are constantly needed to ensure cancer patients get this vital product,” she said.

“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 Shepparton locals to take part in Australia’s Biggest Secret Santa exchange by making an appointment to give blood.”

A new donor is needed every five minutes to meet Australia’s growing blood needs. Now is the time to give blood like life depends on it — because it does.

Ms Burns said if Secret Santa was about giving anonymous gifts designed to make someone’s day, then blood donation really was Australia’s ultimate Secret Santa exchange.

One donation can save up to three lives.

To book your donation or find out more about Australia’s Biggest Secret Santa, call 13 14 95 or visit

The Lifeblood Shepparton Donor Centre is located at 210-216 Corio St, Shepparton (entrance via Vaughan St car park).

Donors are needed in Shepparton on:

December 23: from noon to 7.30 pm;

December 24: from 7.30 am to 3 pm;

December 26: from 7.30 am to 3 pm;

December 27: from 7.30 am to 3 pm;

December 28: from 7.30 am to 3 pm;

December 30: from noon to 7.30 pm;

December 31: from 7.30 am to 3 pm; and

January 2, 2020: from noon to 7.30 pm.

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