Leading the way for blood donations

Even a three-year posting to Florida, United States, didn’t slow down Flight Sergeant Kate Morris’ blood and plasma donations in support of the Defence Blood Challenge.

CAPTION: Enrolled nurse Nicole Gentry prepares Flight Sergeant Kate Morris, of No. 295 Squadron, for her plasma donation at the Red Cross Ipswich Donation Centre in Queensland. Story by Flight Lieutenant Jessica Aldred. Photo by Corporal Nicci Freeman.

The Defence Blood Challenge is Australia’s longest running annual blood donation event in support of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.

Flight Sergeant Morris is No. 295 Squadron’s 2021 blood challenge representative and works in the squadron’s plans’ team.

She still finds the time to provide life-saving blood or plasma donations.

She’ll rack up her 25th donation within Australia this month, and that’s on top of the 25 plasma donations she made while in the US over the past three years.

Flight Sergeant Morris said she enjoyed the opportunity to encourage new donors to participate this year.

“We have had six new members already donate this year – I’ve been sending emails with our progress to the squadron, and highlighting some of the reasons why our members or their family members may need blood in their lifetime,” Flight Sergeant Morris said.

“I have had multiple people close to me that have required blood or plasma treatments due to cancer and auto-immune diseases, so this is the reason why I’ve continued to donate over the years.”

Flight Sergeant Morris said a challenge set by No. 295 Squadron with No. 382 Squadron helped to motivate additional donors.

“Our two commanding officers challenged each other as they are both proud blood/plasma donors,” Flight Sergeant Morris said.

“Our friendly competition is ongoing, but we are currently winning the race.”

Defence this year aims to achieve a record 10,500 donations.

Anyone who is eligible to donate blood or plasma is encouraged to book an appointment and help make a difference for Australians needing lifesaving blood products.

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood mobile vans will visit bases and sites throughout the challenge.





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