Belfast Telegraph

Blood donors put life in perspective

Editor's Viewpoint

As the high stakes political poker game continues to be played out at Stormont with attendant doomsday predictions, it takes a real life human drama to put things in perspective. For some people the chips are really down with their very lives at risk.

Today we publish stories about young people for whom the stakes could not be higher. Take schoolboy Josh Martin from Donaghadee for example, who has been receiving treatment for cancer since Christmas. He has faced debilitating treatment with immense courage and faith and has been supported in his struggle by thousands of people around the world who have joined in his parents' online plea to pray for Josh.

And yesterday up to 100 people turned up to give blood in his name after he revealed how much he owed to the blood donations he has received during his treatment. Showing tremendous fortitude Josh turned up to say thanks to all who had given practical expression to their desire to help him and others going through similar traumas. We also have a separate story on young cancer patients who received a make-over.

Those who gave blood did so out of kindness. Some may have known Josh or other patients, but others were strangers who just wanted to help. Their altruism and that of the experts providing the make-over to female patients is a shining example to all of us and a true expression of the innate goodness of so many people in our society.

That is something which our politicians should take careful note of. And it places a compelling onus on them to sort out their differences and find a way to make politics here work.

We do not pretend that their task is easy or that there are not real problems facing the administration. Yet, through being elected, they have been charged by the public to run the province.

People like Josh and the other young boys and girls we feature today - along with tens of thousands of other people with other medical concerns - need a fully functioning, properly-resourced health service with a minister at the helm to address their problems. Just as society needs all the other infrastructure concerns - including roads, education, business and social services - being properly supported and directed. That is what real life is about and that is the duty imposed on our politicians. They should not be deflected from it.

Belfast Telegraph


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