Radio host overcomes fear of needles to give blood

Radio host for The Hits Bay of Plenty, Will Johnston is a self-confessed wimp when it comes to needles.

“When I was a kid, needles made me cry. I absolutely hated them. I’m the last person you would expect to become a regular blood donor,” he says.

However, he found it surprisingly easy to get over his fear. “Giving blood for the first time wasn’t the big and scary event I expected. It was painless – I barely felt the needle go in. New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) nurses are at the top of their game. They have been trained extremely well, and do what they do every day.

“The level of care NZBS offers its donors is amazing. I am always impressed with the health checks they do every time you donate.

Will has now given whole blood four times and given plasma too. He was one of the first in line to donate plasma when the service became available in Tauranga back in 2012.

Will JohnstonWhen asked why he gives blood, Will has several reasons. “Giving half a litre of yourself is so easy, it doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t cost you anything. We also had a NZBS nurse visit us in The Hits studio and she explained the whole process of giving blood. It really stuck with me that one of the most common times people need blood is after child birth. It’s got to be good karma helping new babies and mothers, right?”

And last, but not least, the free food afterwards is a bonus. “There are biscuits - the good kind – sometimes local cafes donate filled rolls, and there might even be a homemade slice on offer.”

You will sometimes hear Will talking about giving blood on his show or in one of his many gigs as an MC. He hopes by sharing his story, it will encourage others to give it a go. The Hits (part of NZME.) is a proud supporter of NZ Blood Service, and many of its staff are blood donors.

To find out more about how to become a blood donor like Will to help save lives, click here or call 0800 GIVE BLOOD.


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