motorcycles, travel, friendship, respect… I may drift off into WTF-land at times so hang in there.

Blood Challenge


I was reading one of the pamphlets at my local Australian Red Cross blood donor centre last weekend, and read a startling statistic:-

One (1) in three (3) people will need blood during their life time, yet only one (1) in 30 people give blood.
Australian Red Cross Blood Service

Last century, waaaaay back in 1979, the Motorcycle Riders Association of Australia (MRAA)* threw down the gauntlet to the Victorian police to donate more blood than that states motorcyclists.This was known as the “MRAA blood challenge”

The blood challenge spread to other states in Australia, was well coordinated with blood runs every 3 months** and was well publicised. Alas, the blood challenge is no more. 

I found this out recently when on my last trip to the local blood donor centre, I asked them to credit the donation to the Motorcycle Riders Association of Queensland (MRAQ)***. 
I was politely told that such a challenge no longer existed.
I was a bit surprised by this, so on my return home I kicked Google into gear and started searching for a challenge involving motorcyclists, be it on a state or national level, I didn’t care. 
What I found was that, at the time of writing, there are two challenges in effect, neither involve motorcyclists. I was somewhat disappointed to say the least. 
What I did find out was that any business, community or youth group can register to a thing called The Club Red Donation Program.
So I went to the sign up page and looked for the MRAQ. 
Nope not there.
“Hmmm maybe my employer is registered for Club Red”. I thought. 
Nope not there either.
So on a whim, I looked for my club
Success! Although, in hindsight I should have thought of this in the first place, as I am a member of said club.
There were maybe half a dozen Club branches listed, plus the head office. So I filled in the details for the head office and my donor details and voila! All my donations from January 1st, 2013 will go towards the Club
Now I know that many people fear the needle, I did too. But really its a like getting bit by a big mozzie***** and there is no swelling or itching afterwards.
Think about it, one (1) whole blood donation of 470 ml can make up to 22 different blood products, or can help at least three people.
I hope it never happens, but some day you or someone close to you may need blood. As a motorcyclist I might need blood, although I ride wrapped in cotton wool so its unlikely.
The point is; There needs to be more blood donations to keep up with demand. 
You can’t get any diseases, you won’t bleed to death, your blood replaces itself within 24 – 48 hours, you get to find out your blood group free of charge and the nurses (male and female) are a great yarn.
The best part. After donating blood you are treated to a light snack and a beverage. Everything from muffins, crackers, cheese, chocolate bars, juice tea and coffee. All because you took the time to donate blood.
So, save a life. Donate blood.


* MRAA became MRAVic which s now a social club in that state. Motorcycle advocacy now falls to the Victorian Motorcycle Council.
** In Australia, whole blood donations can be made every 3 months, with plasma donations every 2 weeks. 
*** The MRAQ represents QLD motorcyclists to the Australian Motorcycle Council which in turn represents motorcyclists at national level.

***** Mozzie: Australian slang term for Mosquito 


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