A BRAVE local lad was guest of honour at the official opening of the newly refurbished Aberdeen blood donor centre.
Ben Anderson, from Laurencekirk, was diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2007 when his mum, Louise, took him to the doctor after he complained of tiredness and pains in his legs.
Ben, who is now 7, then spent three years travelling with his family between Aberdeen Sick Kids and Laurencekirk as Ben underwent gruelling treatment to fight the disease.
After three years of constant hospital visits Louise explains that: “Thankfully last Christmas we received the best gift anyone could ask for when Ben was told he would not need any further treatment. We now only go through to Aberdeen once every four weeks for Ben’s check-ups.”
During his treatment Ben received five units of red cells and two units of platelets, his mum explained that she always gave blood but during Ben’s treatment she: “saw first hand the the vital difference the gift blood donors make to transfusion patients and their families. I would encourage anyone who can give blood to make the effort to donate.”
“Ben is just amazing, to be honest if it hadn’t been for him, our family would never have made it through this experience so well. He is very excited about the prospect to re-launch the donor centre, it is a great way to celebrate his return to good health.”
Ben was joined at the opening of the refurbished centre by his mum Louise, dad Alan, brother Max (5) and Sister Emily (2).
Lynne Wildigg, Aberdeen Donor Services Manager, explained why giving blood is so important, she said: “It is essential we maintain bloodstocks to ensure that others like Ben can receive the treatment they need. I am delighted that Ben is now fit and well and here to help us with this special re-opening of the donor centre.”
The newly refurbished centre will have longer opening hours, increasing from just four hours a week to the centre now being open five days a week. This will give donors a better opportunity to donate, the new centre also provides a more comfortable environment for donors.
Lynne Wildigg hopes that the new centre will welcome an additional 30 donors every week, and that the new system of donating by appointment will reduce waiting times and queues.
If you would like to donate blood either call the new Aberdeen centre on 01224 685 685 to book an appointment or community sessions can be found at www.scotblood.co.uk.