On 18 December 2011, #ImStaying founder Jarette Petzer’s life changed forever. It was the day his father drew his last breath after a very long and traumatic 12-year fight against a rare blood condition called Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (known as Osler Weber Disease). As harrowing as the condition may be, it does hold some value for blood donors. As the disease results in weakened blood vessel walls, donating blood is something that Osler Weber patients excel at. Jarette’s father selflessly donated many pints of blood during his lifetime and, undoubtedly, saved the lives of many strangers. Ironically enough, it was he who became reliant on the life-saving donations of strangers which bought him some time with his beloved family.

Did you know that less than 1% of South Africans are active blood donors?  That equates to less than 600,000 people donating blood on a regular basis.  At present, the South African National Blood Service has enough blood in stock to last for 4½ days only, while the current platelet stock won’t even last a day.  With the school holidays and Easter weekend looming closer, there will be even more pressure on the already-depleted stock levels.  Although the SANBS currently aims to collect 3,000 units of blood each day, there are too many days where this target is not met – resulting in worrisome blood shortages.

It absolutely cannot be reiterated enough that a single pint of blood can save multiple lives!

As Stayers, we have the power to replenish the blood stock levels significantly and save countless lives.  If even just 1% of all the members of the #ImStaying Facebook group donate blood, a total of 10,000 units of blood will be donated.  Considering that each of these units of blood can save a minimum of 3 lives, our collective impact will be nothing short of amazing!

Over the past few months many Stayers have already taken it upon themselves to help replenish the dwindling blood stock levels and for that, we, and every single blood recipient, are forever grateful.

We would like to continue to encourage every Stayer that is in good health and meets the requirements of the SANBS to join us in a #ImStaying #GiveAPint challenge.

What are the minimum requirements to donate blood?

  •         You need to be between the ages of 16 and 75 years old as a first-time donor
  •         You need to weigh no less than 50 kgs (and 55kg if you want to donate platelets)
  •         You need to be in good health
  •         You have to believe that your blood is safe for transfusion purposes
  •         You have to lead a safe and healthy lifestyle
  •         You have to have eaten no more than four hours before donating blood

There are also minimum guidelines pertaining to your heart rate, blood pressure, and hemoglobin level – all of which will be tested at the blood donor clinic.

Together, we can save countless lives

Donated blood gets used for a number of life-saving medical procedures.  Apart from being used in medical emergencies such as car accidents and assault cases, it is also vital during a variety of surgeries, for hemorrhaging moms during childbirth, and to replenish the blood of c & other cancer patients.  It absolutely cannot be reiterated enough that a single pint of blood can save multiple lives!

The only way the SANBS and Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS) can continue meeting the increasing demand for life-saving blood is for us to rise to the challenge and #GiveAPint.

Please join our #ImStaying #GiveAPint challenge and save a life!  Simply pop into your nearest SANBS or WCBS branch and give someone else a fighting chance at longevity!