Promoting Blood Donations Coast to Coast

Michael is a regular platelet donor in Wellington. He first started donating at a college mobile blood drive in Upper Hutt, and after enjoying a break while travelling overseas he was back to donating again when he returned to NZ. One day he was giving a regular whole blood donation at a mobile blood drive when one of the nurses noticed his fantastic veins and recruited him to start giving plasma and platelet donations at the Newtown Donor Centre in Wellington.

121019 Michael Burrell Image 2

Michael in his Kayak during the Coast to Coast

In 2011 he participated in the Coast to Coast event which traverses the South Island from Kumara Beach on the west coast by the Tasman Sea to Sumner Beach on the east coast by the Pacific Ocean. Over the one-day individual event, Michael cycled 140km, ran 36km (including a 33km mountain stage over the Southern Alps) and kayaked 67km of the grade two Waimakariri River through the Waimakariri Gorge. With a 6am start, Michael finished this feat at approximately 9:30pm – 15 hours and 30 minutes – a fantastic result!

As a real advocate for the Blood Service, Michael kitted out his kayak for the race in NZ Blood Service branding (with a few blood splatters thrown in as well!), and encourages other athletes to donate blood on a regular basis. While some athletes may be concerned about how giving blood may affect their training, he likes to tell them that he’s proof you can do both! (Just ease up on the training 24 hours after giving blood)

Michael is currently training for the 2014 Coast to Coast, as well as entering Iron Man competitions across NZ and swimming the Cook Strait in 2013. All this and he still finds time to work as well as come in every month to donate platelets.

A truly inspirational donor and an awesome advocate for the Blood Service, thanks Michael!

Published on: 28 Jan 2012

Back to top