Belfast Telegraph

Why we were so delighted to give blood

By Joanne Sweeney and Valerie Edwards

Audrey Hetherington from Newtownards:

I'm a good friend of Josh's granny, Jill. It's been years since I last gave blood but I made the effort as I thought I had to come here for this very worthy cause. I couldn't not come out today.

Margaret Mellon from Bangor:

I've given blood before, four times since I was 17. The last time I tried to give blood I couldn't because of a coldsore so I'm glad to have given today. Both my daughters have needed a transfusion in the past.

Phil Whitford from Bangor:

This is the first time I have ever given blood and I don't know why I didn't do it sooner. I'm a member of Bangor Elim and a youth leader with the church so I know Josh and his family. It's a good thing to give blood for someone as my brother also needed blood when he had cancer.

Victoria Mannis from Newtownards:

I've heard about Josh's story and I thought I would just go for it today as I've never given blood before. It was an amazing experience actually. Josh is an inspiration to us all and prayers have been answered.

Frances Johnston from Bangor:

Josh's fight against cancer has been a real incentive for me to come today although I've given blood four times in the past. I know Josh's family and they are all just so lovely. It's really nothing big to do when you think of what Josh and his family have gone through.

Rosie Jamison from Bangor:

This was my first time giving blood and it was fine, particularly the piece of chocolate you get. It's such a good cause, too. I work as an intern with Bangor Elim Church youth leaders so whenever everything happened with Josh, of course, we all wanted to give blood.

Pastor Davy Beckett from Bangor Elim Church:

We've been praying for Joshua and in a practical way we are giving blood to help him. It's been miraculous what God's been doing in his life. We're just praying that he gets better.

Sarah Benton from Bangor:

I've given blood for years. My nephew was born prematurely and I always remember my sister telling me about the wee babies and how much blood they went through. There's people out there that need blood and that's what keeps me coming back.

Paddy Gilmore attends Bangor Elim Church:

This young boy in our church needed so many blood transfusions and I just thought what's a pint of blood to help somebody else.

Beverley Atkinson attends Bangor Elim Church:

I know the Martin family and I spoke to his granny today and she said to me that when Joshua was in the hospital they had to send out for blood, and I thought well that has reinforced the need for more and more blood donors.

Tom Johnston attends Bangor Elim Church:

When the donation was suggested we felt it was a practical way to show our regard for them. We put our trust in God that Josh will have a full recovery.

Rachel Spence, a youth intern at Bangor Elim church:

I help with whatever needs done at the church and this was my first time giving blood. I was a bit weezy, but I wanted to do it for Josh.

Debbie Boyd from Donaghadee:

I know Joshua's grandparents and I just wanted to come support everybody that needs blood and help the need for cancer.

Pastor Gary Beattie, senior pastor at Bangor Elim Church:

I've only given blood once before about five years ago. I'm absolutely petrified of needles as they really freak me out. With Josh needing blood transfusions, the need for blood has just been brought to the fore again.

Belfast Telegraph

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