Bunbury blood donors go above and beyond for Jamie Brown

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times
Oaklee Partridge and Jamie Brown accepted the award for the most blood donated by a WA group in 2018.
Camera IconOaklee Partridge and Jamie Brown accepted the award for the most blood donated by a WA group in 2018.

A group formed after a Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School student was diagnosed with leukaemia has been recognised for making the most blood donations in WA last year.

The Jamie Brown RED 25 group collectively made 441 donations totalling more than 200L.

Brunswick’s Oaklee Partridge started the group after her classmate Jamie got sick at leavers’ week in 2017.

“He was sent home and after a week he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia,” she said.

“They figured out it was a bone marrow transplant that could eventually save him but there was a very small chance they would find a perfect match.”

Mr Brown received more than 30 blood donations as well as the bone marrow transplant and was now free of cancer cells.

He said he was unable to donate because of the cancer, but wanted to encourage others to do so.

“At college I’m surrounded by a lot of 18-year-olds who are clear of health problems and are basically perfect candidates,” he said.

“You never really know when you might need it.

“I’ve never been able to donate because I’d only been 18 for six months before I got sick — the idea of donating blood is obviously a lot more significant to me now than it ever was before.”

The group’s donations helped save more than 1300 people.

They were made as part of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service’s social responsibility program Red 25.

“We wanted to find it as quick as possible and we wanted to get the word out there — I was given a call by Gina from Red Cross and we started the Red 25 group for him,” Ms Partridge said.

“We put word out at all the colleges and universities and got our families to donate.”

She said the group wanted to make even more donations in 2019.

“We’re hoping to make 500 donations this year,” Ms Partridge said.

“We’re also working hard to educate people that it’s not an invasive procedure to find out what bone marrow group you are — all it takes is a blood donation.”

For more details on Red 25 visit donateblood.com.au/red25.

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