Defence Blood Challenge has life-saving impact
6 September 2019
The Defence Blood Challenge, Australia’s longest-running annual blood drive in support of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS), was officially launched yesterday in Canberra.
Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, AO, DSC was joined by Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, Chief of Staff – Army Headquarters, Brigadier Kahlil Fegan and ARCBS Chief Executive Shelly Park to declare the challenge open for 2019. Defence has participated in the competition for more than ten years, contributing over 110,000 life-saving donations.
Air Marshal Hupfeld said this year, Defence personnel would aim to give blood or plasma more than 9,000 times.
“Through the Defence Blood Challenge, we have the opportunity to draw on our commitment to serve, and make a life-saving impact in our community,” Air Marshal Hupfeld said.
“A single blood donation can save the lives of up to three Australians, and the gift of plasma can be used to treat a range of patients, helping those with serious burns, cancer or brain disease.
“Defence aims to beat its 2018 tally of 8,519 donations, which saved up to 25,557 lives.
“The demand for blood and plasma continues to grow, so there’s always more we can do. This year, we aim to roll up our sleeves at least 9,000 times to help those who rely on blood products to stay alive, or see them through a serious illness,” Air Marshal Hupfeld said.
Australian Red Cross Blood Service Chief Executive, Shelly Park praised Defence’s ongoing support for the annual challenge.
“The Defence Blood Challenge helps save thousands of lives every year and has a lasting impact on the lives of recipients as well as their families and friends,” Shelly said.
“The Australian Red Cross Blood Service cannot thank Defence personnel and their families enough for their support.”
The Defence Blood Challenge runs until 8 December 2019.
Imagery is available at: https://images.defence.gov.au/s20192147