There are hundreds of Scout Groups in Ireland and all Scouting Ireland members belong to one or other of them. But at the same time there are only eight blood groups and everyone, everywhere throughout the world, are also members of one of these blood groups.
Every week at scout meetings throughout the country, thousands of members recite the Scout Promise. Every day in a myriad of ways we all strive to ‘serve our community and help other people’. This commendable action was recently taken to the next level by two of our own Rover Scouts, Mark Hoare from the 9th Wicklow and his brother Shane from 104th/144th Blanchardstown.
They were the latest blood donors to support the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) campaign, #MissingType which aims to increase the 3% of the Irish population currently donating blood. Plenty of valuable information is available on the www.giveblood.ie website including the answer to many FAQ’s and location of clinics, many of which are nearby. Alternatively you can find them and follow them on Facebook.
Giving blood makes it possible for many people to lead normal healthy lives. Every year thousands of patients require blood transfusions in our hospitals, because they are undergoing surgery, recovering from cancer or have been in a serious accident. The latest figures from the giveblood.ie website state that every week 3,000 blood donors are needed in this country and approximately 70,000 patients will require blood transfusions this year e.g. a car accident victim may require up to 30 units of blood.
Platelets, on the other hand, are one of four of the main constituents of blood and account for approximately 1% of whole blood. This used by Irish hospitals on a year round basis in the treatment of cancer and leukaemia patients, bone marrow transplants, new born and premature babies and burns victims.
Mark and Shane, pictured, are two of only 2,400 platelet donors nationwide. They attended the Platelet Clinic on Tuesday last, 31st October where they continued their monthly trip to the National Blood Centre St James’s Hospital, Dublin and donated double and triple units of platelets. Decked out in their scout uniforms, they too dressed up for Hallowe’en, but this time the blood was real. There were plenty of specialist medical staff on hand to assist including staff nurse Sinead Brazil, an ex-member of the 5th Athy Kildare Scout Group and staff nurse Jennifer Harkin a retired Dún Laoghaire Brownie.
Surprisingly, all four members of this family are blood Group O- (Rh Negative) including the boys mum Sandra and dad Jim, both scouters in Wicklow. They too are regular blood and platelet donors and between them all, they have given over 200 units. Ciara Keegan, a roving rover reporter, also from the 104th/144th Blanchardstown, was on hand in the clinic to capture all the photos.
The main emphasis of this article is to highlight the selfless act of blood donating and to canvass support for the IBTS. The chances are that we all know someone, family member, friend or fellow scout who has required blood or blood products at some point in their lives. Where do you think this blood comes from? It cannot be made in laboratories and so it has to come from the arm of donors. If you are over eighteen and in good health then the Irish Blood Transfusion Service is calling on you to do your bit, and support The Rover Scout #RoverPints blood donor drive. So roll up your sleeve and get stuck in at www.giveblood.ie.
This post is part of our on going campaign “Rover Pints“. We’re asking Rover Crews to donate blood or platelets when and where they can. Take a photo and post it to Facebook with the hashtag #RoverPints to inspire other Rovers and be featured on the national Rover Scout Facebook page.
You can find the dates and time of your local blood clinic here
A checklist before you attend the clinic can be found here as well