By Cathy O’Leary
The West Australian – 19th December 2014
No one would guess looking at Zewie Kanangu that she has a life-threatening condition that requires monthly blood transfusions.
Like her brother Izuka, 13, the 18-year-old from Landsdale has sickle cell anaemia, an inherited blood disorder which means there are not enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen around her body.
She is one of thousands of Australians dependent on donor blood over the Christmas and New Year period and says she never realised where donated blood went before she became sick.
“A lot of people don’t realise how life changing it is to get blood, and to be honest I never realised I would need to get blood once a month and that changed me because I always wanted to be normal like everyone else,” she said.
WA needs an extra 1400 donors between Christmas Eve and January 4 to ensure a stable supply of blood but only half the appointments are booked.
Red Cross spokeswoman Jessica Willet said figures from the same time last year showed one in five people missed giving their donation. “In particular, more donors are needed on Christmas Eve, Sunday December 28, and New Year’s Eve,” she said.
To give blood visit donateblood.com.au or call 13 14 95.