Only one in 30 Australians do this each year

Most people do their best to avoid needles. But not Gail Shelbach.

She is a ‘bloody legend’ according to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.

Every two weeks Ms Shelbach rolls up her sleeve to donate blood or plasma.

“I was terrified of needles when I was a lot younger but I started giving blood after my youngest child was born, it didn’t take long to overcome the worry of the needle,” Ms Shelbach said.

“I hardly feel the needle going in now.”

Ms Shelback has recently given her 350th donation and is currently working towards her new goal of 400 donations.

“I’ve been a donor for over 30 years. I remember tagging along with my mother when she used to give blood at the Ipswich RSL, many years ago,” Ms Shelbach said.

“We would play in the park next door and when mum had finished, they would come and get us and we’d go in and have a cordial and biscuit.”

Taking 20 minutes out of her day to donate is important to Ms Shelbach.

“Both of my parents died young, and my younger brother passed away when he was just 13. And then last year, my partner died from a brain tumour,” she said.

“I think it’s very important to give blood because it might be someone that you love who may need it one day. And while I wasn’t able to directly help my loved ones, I feel very good knowing that I’m helping someone else, so that they don’t have to go through that loss,” Ms Shelbach said.

Ms Shelbach will be recognised along with Ipswich’s other milestone blood donors at a special donor award ceremony.

Eighty-six Ipswich blood donors are being celebrated this National Blood Donor Week for saving the lives of more than 33,000 Australians.

Blood Service spokeswoman Sandee Thompson thanked those who have donated blood in Ipswich in the past year.

“Every 24 minutes across Australia, a ‘bloody legend’ donates blood and saves lives,” Mrs Thompson said.

“In Ipswich, 3,073 donors gave over 10,000 blood donations in the past 12 months, which is an outstanding effort.”

National Blood Donor Week is also a time when the Blood Service calls for more people to donate blood, now and in the future.

“With donated blood only lasting 42 days we need a constant supply of blood donations, which means we need more people to donate blood more often,” Mrs Thompson said.


of Australians will need blood or blood products in their lifetime

lives can be saved by one donation

donations are needed every week


Percentage demand for blood and blood products will grow by over the next 10 years

Ipswich Where you can donate blood in Ipswich

Ipswich Donor Centre is in the Riverlink Medical Centre on level 1, 2 Lowry Street, North Ipswich.

Phone 131495, appointment recommended.

Available services:

Corporate Club and Team Donations
Parking available
Plasma collection
Platelet collection
Whole Blood Collection

They are open Monday from 7.30am – 1.30pm
Tuesday through to Thursday from 12.30pm – 7pm
Friday and Saturday from 7.30am – 1.30pm

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