LEEANNE Hardy may be A negative, but she turned her 50th birthday into a big positive.
When she celebrated her milestone on July 21, she asked family and friends to donate – literally – to her favourite cause, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.
“I’m not a party person (but) this was an idea I just wanted to do,” Ms Hardy said.
“I wanted 50 donations to match my 50 years on earth.”
She said her son wrote a poem and made it look like a party invitation, which was sent to 150 people across Australia and New Zealand.
“We received 52 donations in a two-month period.
“I managed to inspire people to donate again after not doing so for 20 years, as well as motivating new donors.
“People are still coming in as a result of the idea and word has spread far and wide beyond the initial invitations.
“A friend’s son gave blood for me last Thursday. We’ve probably got 14 new donors.”
Ms Hardy began giving blood when she just 18, recently racking up donation number 128.
“I just prefer giving than receiving.”
The mother-of-two said she found donating a chance to sit and put her feet up, after working all day as a remedial massage therapist and training regularly at the Ballarat Martial Arts Centre.
According to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, one-in-three Australians will need blood or a blood product in their lifetime, yet only one-in-30 donates.
There are still nearly 70 appointments that need to be filled next week at the Ballarat Blood Donor Centre in Latrobe Street, Redan.
To make an appointment, call 13 14 95 or visit www.donateblood.com.au.