BBC North team gives blood for colleague

A team of staff from BBC North at MediaCityUK took time out from their day jobs to donate blood in support of their colleague Jonathan Ali, who receives regular blood transfusions to support his treatment for cancer.

 

When BBC North West Producer, Laurence Inwood heard of his colleague Jonathan’s illness and the amount of blood he was receiving he decided to encourage staff at the BBC to donate blood.  His idea is to try and encourage enough staff to donate, to match or exceed the amount Jonathan is receiving.  Currently, an amazing 26 people have donated, some more than once, and the number of staff getting involved is growing all the time.

Laurence said: “Jonathan has a lot of good friends at the BBC and when he was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year we wanted to do something to show how much we care about him.

“Donating blood seemed like the most natural thing to do as he has received numerous blood transfusions since his diagnosis. When I appealed for donors I never imagined so many people would come forward and give blood and it’s a real testament to how highly regarded Jonathan is and what a great bunch of colleagues he has at BBC Salford.”

BBC Radio Manchester broadcast journalist, Jonathan Ali started to feel unwell at the beginning of this year and went to his GP, who diagnosed Jonathan with anaemia and referred him for further tests and his first blood transfusion.  After emergency scans, a large mass was found in Jonathan’s small intestine, and following an operation to remove it, he was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma. Jonathan is currently undergoing intensive chemotherapy at The Christie Hospital where he regularly receives blood to help him with his treatment.

Jonathan said:  “Receiving blood has enabled me to function with the anaemia, got me through a seven hour operation and helped me to cope with both chemotherapy and sepsis.

“Without blood donors it’s unlikely I’d still be here.  I’d like to encourage people to donate because you never know when you will need blood.”

 

Amanda Eccles, Senior Marketing Coordinator said:

“We are delighted that the BBC North team are supporting their colleague and blood donation. We always need new people in and around Greater Manchester to start donating blood to ensure that stocks across the country are healthy now and in the future. I hope that people will be inspired to donate with the knowledge that their donations save lives and that it is an easy thing to do.”

 

Although overall blood use within the NHS has reduced thanks to improvements in clinical and surgical practices, hospitals and patients still rely on around 6,000 people attending a donation session every day across England.

Every time you donate a unit of blood you can save or improve the lives of up to three people.

The blood you donate is used to treat critically ill patients, whether they have had cancer or other blood disorders, been in an accident, having surgery or after childbirth.

You can register as a donor, find out whether we’ve got a session coming up in your area and book an appointment to donate whenever and wherever you are through www.blood.co.uk or by using our app on your Android, Windows or Apple device. To download an app for your device, search ‘NHSGiveBlood’ in the app store.

In general, as long as you are fit and healthy, weigh over 7 stone 12 lbs (50kg) and are aged between 17 and 66 (up to 70 if you have given blood before) you should be able to give blood. If you are over 70, you need to have given blood in the last two years to continue donating.

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