Blood flows as bikies roar into town

Brisbane blood donation levels were given a welcomed boost over the weekend when motorcycle enthusiasts united to give blood in the fifth annual Merlo Coffee Red Ride for Life campaign.

More than 115 riders from across south-east Queensland roared into the Springwood Red Cross Blood Donor Centre on Saturday to help resuscitate much-needed blood supplies following a convoy trip down the M1 from Merlo Coffee Torrefazione in Bowen Hills.

Red Cross Blood Service Community Relations Officer Michael Parker said the riders donated 25 litres of blood, enough to save 150 lives.

Among those willing to roll up their sleeve to strengthen blood supplies were veteran donors Jim and Julie Musson (pictured) from Waterford, who have been donating blood to the Red Cross for 35 years collectively.

The husband and wife team and avid riders have taken part in Red Ride for Life since it began in 2005 to help raise awareness for the Red Cross Blood Service and also to highlight the impact donations can have on victims of vehicle crashes.

“The event brings to people’s attention the number of accident victims that require blood transfusions to help save their lives,” 55-year-old Mr Musson said.

“It feels good to do something for the community and you never know when you are going to need it yourself.”

But for 49-year-old Mrs Musson, the event was also about raising awareness for rare blood supplies.

“I’ve been giving blood since I gave birth to my first child because I have a rare blood type so I know the importance blood supplies can have for people who really need it,” she said.

“It’s important as a community to do our bit to help.”

Mr Parker said blood supplies typically decreased in the cooler winter months which made stock levels inadequate.

“Stocks are low in winter and collections are down due to people having colds and flus, so it’s great to have the support of these riders,” he said.

But Mr Parker said while blood donations from Red Ride for Life had already saved hundreds of lives, including people with leukaemia, severe burns and blood disorders, blood donation was critical all year round.

Yesterday marked the first day of National Blood Donor Week.

To help ease the gap between the number of blood donors and the number of Australians who need blood, Mr Parker encouraged people to do their bit.

“Blood is needed every day, every month, every year, so donations go a long way towards helping a range of people,” he said.

For further information visit or call 13 14 95.

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