Munster player, Sam Arnold, has urged people to give blood, revealing that his sister receives regular donations for a rare genetic disorder.
According to the Irish Blood Transfusion Service, only three percent of eligible Irish people give blood while 3,000 blood donors are required every week in this country.
The Munster centre revealed that his sister has needed blood donations for the past eight years.
“In 2011, she was rushed to hospital with a rare genetic disorder that we didn’t know much about. The blood donors literally kept my sister and they do keep her alive to this day and it’s something she has to rely on for the rest of her life.”
“She needs fortnightly donations of blood and plasma just to keep her alive, otherwise I wouldn’t have a little sister at all.”
Arnold believes that many people question their eligibility to give blood in Ireland if they previously lived in the UK.
However, that clause only refers to people who lived, worked or were on holidays for 12 months or more between the years of 1980 and 1996, due to the risk of variant CJD disease.
“Although I was born in the UK, I was born after 1996 which means I can donate blood in Ireland. This opens a massive opportunity for many more people in Ireland like me to donate blood.”
The 23-year-old believes that people are reluctant to give blood as there is a misconception that the supply is plentiful.
“I think a lot of people think there’s enough blood to go around when in reality, there’s mums, there’s dads, there’s children all around the world who need it.”
“The most important thing to do is put yourself in that situation and imagine if it was someone in your family, how would you feel?”
“It’s one of those things that you just shrug off and think ‘awh someone else will do it’ or ‘it’s not up to me’ but if everyone could just buy into it and donate whenever they can, you can literally save people’s lives.
It’s not just a person, it’s a son, it’s a Dad, it’s a sister.”
Watch the full video below.
Check out www.giveblood.ie for more.
Most regular donors can give blood after exercise once well hydrated, well rested and have tolerated previous donations without any ill effects. You cannot give blood if you are planning exercise afterwards that day or for 2 weeks before or after extreme exercise, e.g. marathon, triathlon.
If you have any queries on this check at the clinic or give the donor query line a call beforehand on 1850 731 137.