Meet the Melburnian Greek who has been giving the gift of life

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram People say that donating blood is like giving someone a second chance at life. Ange Kenos can certainly testify to that, being amongst Victoria’s most regular blood donors.With over 600 donations under his belt, the Melburnian was recently honoured by the Australian Red Cross for his selfless devotion over the last 44 years which helped save the lives of around 2,000 people.In an interview with SBS Greek radio, Mr Kenos recalls the time of his initiation in the blood donor community.“I was 18 years old, a student at Melbourne University, and I saw a Red Cross mobile unit outside the campus. I’ve been a blood donor since that day.”While estimated that one in three Australians will need blood or blood products in their lifetime, a mere three per cent of the population commits to giving blood each year.According to the Red Cross’ data, the country needs more than 25,000 donations every week, with demand expected to grow by 100 per cent over the next decade.The concerning stats are sufficient enough to convince us that we should all make “giving the gift of life” one of our New Year’s resolutions.But Mr Kenos says that sadly Greek Australians are also among the most under-represented ethnic groups among blood donors, despite a great demand for blood donations within the community.The demand, he explains, is attributed to the prevalence of thalassaemia cases among Greek populations, given that the blood disorder is particularly common in people of Mediterranean ancestry.“It saddens me deeply that while our ethnic community has a higher need for blood than the average Australian, our community donates far far below the miserable Australian average of three per cent … With thalassaemia and other conditions that require frequent blood transfusions, we should be doing more,” says Mr Kenos.Most people are able to give blood as long as they are in good health and and comply with some basic eligibility criteria, while the process is quick and simple.In fact, for Mr Kenos the experience is both enjoyable and rewarding every time.“It’s like a mini medical check-up, no fuss, you give blood and then they offer you pies, beverages …“But the most important thing is that you leave the place knowing that you potentially saved someone’s life, a kid, a woman hospitalised with her baby, somebody hit by a car, you know that you have helped someone make it to the next day.”last_img read more

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