Pastor Calls on People from Christian Communities To “Be The Answer to Someone’s Prayers” this Easter by Giving Blood

A pastor who gave blood for the first time alongside family and friends in memory of two loved ones is encouraging others to “be the answer to someone’s prayers” by becoming a donor.

Maxine Douglas donated alongside her 18-year-old son Keiron Hendricks-Douglas and adopted son Harun Richards, 21, as well as friends Audrey Rochester and Mekhi Hyatt-Cookhorn, 17. All five were first-time donors.

Maxine, a pastor with the Church of God of Prophecy Trust, is part of a campaign with NHS Blood and Transplant which brings together church leaders to raise awareness of blood donation and the urgent need for more donors of Black heritage.

The group donation at Birmingham Donor Centre was a poignant occasion for Maxine as two of her loved ones were able to have more time with their families thanks to blood donors.

Her niece Georgina, Harun’s mum, received blood during breast cancer treatment and her children’s adoptive grandmother Loris needed blood when she was terminally ill.

Maxine, who has three children of her own and is adoptive mum to Georgina’s four children, said:

We wanted to donate because Georgina and nanny Green had their lives extended because donated blood was available.

When blood donation comes close to your life it makes you reflect. You think – if my nearest and dearest needs blood, will it be available?

But it’s not something we should just leave to others. You could be the answer to someone’s prayers.

I hate needles so on the day I had to put my big girl pants on! But it was a tiny scratch for a millisecond and the donation was easy and done in 10 minutes.

Maxine is spreading the message about blood donation to the congregation at her church in Great Barr in Birmingham by sharing information, dispelling myths and posing the question: “If Jesus was here today, what would he do?”

The Churches Blood campaign with faith charity RAFFA is particularly aimed at people of Black heritage whose donations are urgently needed to help sickle cell patients.

Sickle cell is the UK’s fastest growing genetic blood disorder and is more prevalent in people of Black heritage. Many patients rely on donated blood to stay alive and blood from a donor of a similar ethnic background provides the best treatment.

Maxine said:

My sister has thalassemia and members of my family have sickle cell trait so I understand the importance of receiving blood from a donor of the same ethnicity.

Giving blood is a way we can help to reduce the health inequalities that exist. It’s an easy thing to do, and the right thing to do.

Maxine now plans to make donating a regular family event also involving husband Kevin and daughters Chey-Anne, 18, who is Keiron’s twin, and 17-year-old Bria who were unable to join the group donation, to help bring on board the next generation of donors.

Maxine, who lives in Sutton Coldfield, said:

“As a family we eat together, we go to the cinema together, we go bowling together. So it makes sense that we give blood together!

My adopted daughter Amina, who is 13, wants to donate in the future. She remembers her mum having blood transfusions when she was poorly. She dislikes needles but she wants to help because someone helped her mommy.

Blood is needed to treat patients with cancer, blood disorders and those suffering medical trauma or undergoing surgery. Each donation can save or improve up to three lives.

Register now and book an appointment at blood.co.uk on the GiveBloodNHS app or call 0300 123 23 23.

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