100 bloodbank donations by May Whiley-Jones pictured with Mitch Brady from the Coffs Harbour Bloodbank.
100 bloodbank donations by May Whiley-Jones pictured with Mitch Brady from the Coffs Harbour Bloodbank. TREVOR VEALE

May racks up a century of life saving donations

ONE in three Australians will need blood in their lifetime so we're lucky there's generous people like May Whiley-Jones around.

The 70-year-old marked the incredible milestone of 100 donations last week.

She spends approximately half the year travelling around Australia in her caravan and donates blood and plasma in various locations along the way but she made sure she was back on home turf for her 100th donation.

"A friend was always talking about it so I went along to donate in Orange in 1993 and I've been doing it ever since.”

May says she's special because her blood has been cleared for use on premature babies.

"Lots of people have been exposed to a virus which rules them out.”

As yet there is no suitable artificial substitute for blood, so a constant supply of donors is needed to maintain supplies.

One blood donation can save up to three lives according to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service and Australia needs more than 25,000 donations every week.

May donates blood and plasma and is always trying to encourage others to do the same.

"I tell everybody about it and they say 'well done' but nobody says 'I must go and do that' but I just try to encourage them,” May said.

Only one in 30 Australians give blood each year (3 per cent) but it's estimated that demand for blood and blood products will grow by 100 per cent over the next 10 years.

Blood can be donated every 12 weeks and plasma every two weeks. Plasma can unlock 18 life-saving products from treatments for serious burns and cancer, to protections for people with brain or blood disorders.

To donate blood go to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service website.