When Rhiann Anderson’s mum fell ill and could no longer make her 50th blood donation, Rhiann decided to do something positive about it.
Mum Stella, from Alness, had given 45 donations herself and encouraged countless others to give blood over the years. However in December 2020, aged 55, Stella was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. Still thinking of others, Stella was disappointed to find out she'd no longer be able to give blood and achieve her goal of 50 donations. Despite these difficult circumstances, Rhiann and brother Kenneth stepped in to do something special for their mum.
Rhiann got in touch with the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service to ask if she could give five donations on behalf of her mum, to allow her to achieve her 50th donation. It was all arranged and Stella received her gold award in the post. On the day she received her award, Stella captured her thoughts in this Facebook post:
But the story didn't end there. On seeing their Mum's reaction and knowing how much it meant to her, Rhiann and Kenneth decided to take things a step further. They set up a secret blood drive and sent messages out to friends, family and beyond. The drive, tagged 'A pint for Stella' saw 25 donors come forward to give blood, many of whom donating for the first time.
On her birthday in July, Rhiann and Kenneth presented Stella with a collage of pictures of all those who had donated on her behalf. As each donation can be split into three separate parts, that's up to 75 lives that have been saved or improved through their 'Pint for Stella' blood drive.
Rhiann said, 'Mum was totally blown away. It really brightened her mood and she was telling all of her nurses all about it.
'She really didn’t want anything for her birthday this year so this was the perfect gift - a gift for other people. It's made us all so happy to know we might have been able to help others in some way.'
Thank you to Stella, Rhiann, Kenneth and all their amazing family and friends. Your support and donations are so appreciated by patients all over Scotland.
If you never given blood before or if we’ve not seen you in a while we’d be delighted to give you a warm welcome. You can book your appointment by creating your online donor account at scotblood.co.uk, contacting us online, or by phoning 0345 90 90 999 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm).
Current blood stock levels across Scotland Friday 17 September