The Lincolnshire Free Press’s 2011 campaign is Save a Life.
We are asking you to do something amazing by giving the gift of life to a loved one, neighbour, friend or complete stranger.
How? Simply by giving blood, signing up to the organ donor or bone marrow registers, or becoming a life-saving First Responder, giving vital first aid when someone is ill or injured within your community.
Last month there were 17 people in south Lincolnshire waiting for an organ transplant. Even though there are already 34,000 residents from this area on the donor register, these people still hadn’t found match.
One or more of them may have died by the time you read this. Three people in the UK die every day while waiting for a donor organ to be found.
In south Lincolnshire, 1,200 people are already on the Anthony Nolan bone marrow register. Eighteen have already donated life-giving bone marrow, but nationally there are 1,400 people whose health is worsening as they wait for a bone marrow transplant.
In the past year, hospitals which serve our area have been given 35,000 units – or almost 29,000 pints – of blood, but even so stocks are low and more people are needed to give up just an hour of their time every four months to help save the lives of those who need blood, maybe because of childbirth, trauma or surgery.
Each year in Lincolnshire, an average of 300 lives are saved by Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Service (LIVES) First Responders. These are ordinary people who volunteer to be trained in lifesaving skills such as CPR and the use of a defibrillator.
They often arrive at the scene of an emergency before the ambulance crews because they live in the community where someone needs help. Their quick response saves lives.
But more teams are needed to cover villages including Gosberton, Cowbit, Long Sutton and Holbeach St Johns.
Our campaign to encourage more people to join the ranks of those who are already doing their bit to help others lead a longer and healthier life has the backing of some who have been at the sharp end of organ donation and blood transfusions.
Deiter Glenn is just nine years old. Two years ago this month he was diagnosed with leukaemia and has had five blood transfusions and two platelet transfusions.
At the moment he is doing well – thanks to those who give blood.
His mum, Rosie Walker-Glenn, of Spalding, said: “I am behind the Save a Life campaign all the way because people who give blood really do save lives.
“Blood transfusions have saved Deiter’s life and now he is doing really well and we are lucky that he is able to live a pretty much normal life.”
And 70-year-old Joe Murphy, from Bourne, was just days away from death when the call came that a donor heart had been found.
He said: “I have had six and half fantastic years since my transplant and I feel better than I did at 50.
“It has been absolutely magic and I am all for the Lincolnshire Free Press campaign to get more people to sign up to the donor register.”