Team Red: Vector
Avishta has been donating blood for nearly a decade despite her needle phobia. Her passion to help others and her dedication as a donor has inspired her family members, her friends and even her workplace to join the blood donor registry.
Avishta recalls migrating to New Zealand from Fiji when she was only 11-years-old. Wanting to give something back to the country that welcomed her with open arms, she decided to become a blood donor at age 18.
“I’d always thought about ways to give back, and after learning that every single donation has the potential to save three lives, I knew I’d found it. Despite my fear of needles, I didn’t hesitate to sign up.”
Avishta works as a Contract Delivery Advisor at Vector, and after successfully recruiting many members of her family as well as her friends as blood donors, she thought she’d try her workplace next through New Zealand Blood Service’ (NZBS) Team Red – a programme that offers people the chance to come together with their friends and work colleagues to donate blood.
Working at Vector means Avishta already knows a thing or two about the importance of consistent and reliable supply. By engaging others and getting them to donate, she’s enabling NZBS to ensure a similar level of support for Kiwis in need of blood and blood products anywhere in New Zealand. She feels incredibly lucky to work for Vector – a company that sees the value in giving back to the community and is encouraging of causes like NZBS’s Team Red.
“Donating is something we can do to directly help people in need, and it takes nothing from us but a little bit of time. Often, that time can be a bit tricky to find, but Team Red makes donating as easy and convenient as possible for people. After a quick call to NZBS, our Team Red got started, and a year later we’re happy to say we’ve recruited over 35 of our fellow staff members.”
NZBS sends a shuttle to Vector every three months for their scheduled donations. Avishta organises her Team Red members to board the shuttle in waves of five to six staff members at a time and they are taken to their local donor centre. Her colleagues are promptly back in an hour, happy to have donated blood and ready to relay the ‘lifesaving baton’ to the next wave of keen Team Red members.
“It doesn’t take very long, it doesn’t hurt at all and it’s the best feeling in the world once the needle goes in because you know you’ve potentially just saved three lives – donating blood gives you the opportunity to do just that every three months!”.
While most of Vector’s Team Red members are whole blood donors, Avishta has converted six of her colleagues to donate plasma instead. Plasma (also known as ‘liquid gold’) can be used to create up to 12 different blood products that help treat a wide array of patients such as burn victims, kidney and chemotherapy patients, people who’ve lost a lot of blood, or have recently had major surgery, and especially, help boost the immune system of people unable to produce antibodies.
Avishta says, usually, at every blood drive someone is intrigued about plasma donations and decides to switch over if they meet the criteria. But whether a whole blood or plasma donor, she’s just happy to have her workplace on board and saving lives.
To find out more about how you can become a blood donor or join Team Red, click here or call 0800 GIVE BLOOD.