THE decision to close Hamilton’s blood collection centre came as a slap in the face to a local family that staged a year-long campaign to increase donor numbers.
The ‘Hearny’s Heroes’ challenge was started by Hamilton teenager, Alisatair Hearn, in early 2013 and prompted a 40 per cent increase in donations.
Alistair is the only young person in Australia, and possibly the world, diagnosed with an auto-immune neurological disorder that strips him of mobility.
Every five weeks he receives precious blood products from 51 faceless donors, who he will never have the opportunity to thank personally.
To give back, the teenager became the face of a campaign that challenged would-be donors to roll up their sleeves.
The aim was to impress the Australian Red Cross Blood Collection Service enough that management would open Hamilton’s centre more regularly and install a plasma collection machine.
Instead, the centre will cease operations completely on Thursday, and Alistair’s challenge will come to an abrupt end.
Full story in the Spectator on Tuesday, January 14, 2014