Wing Commander (WGCDR) Nicholas Pausina has returned to conquer both injury and a fear of needles as he rolled up his sleeve at RAAF Base Wagga for the Defence Blood Challenge recently.
WGCDR Pausina, Commanding Officer of 31 Squadron, was ecstatic to be finally able to donate blood again at RAAF Base Wagga on 1 October with the arrival of the Red Cross Mobile Donor Centre earlier this month.
WGCDR Pausina started donating blood about four years ago but an injury a year later had curtailed recent donations.
“I heard a Red Cross Mobile Donor Centre was visiting our base on 1 Oct and I said to myself ‘this year I’m going to do it!’,” WGCDR Pausina said.
He said he was initially inspired to roll up his sleeves by Major (MAJ) Anne Oliver, one of his course mates at the Australian Command and Staff College.
“Anne frequently gave blood and plasma, and I was really impressed by her incredible generosity and selflessness.
“She invited me along but I was quite reluctant at first because needles used to make me cringe. Eventually I decided to give it a go because I wanted to challenge myself, and potentially save lives.”
Soon he got over the fear of needles and appreciated the opportunity to take part in a good cause and give back to the community.
“Giving blood to those in need is a small gesture but I know my action can go a long way and make a difference.
“Now that I am the Commanding Officer of a unit, I want to use my actions to inspire others to make the same contributions and I was very pleased to see a third of my uniform personnel roll up their sleeve today and donate.
“Blood donation is also a good morale-booster for the team and I would like to encourage members to pick up blood donation as a life-saving habit.”
Air Force personnel are rolling up their sleeves for the 2019 Defence Blood Challenge to make a life-saving impact in our communities.
Between 1 September and 8 December, Air Force, Navy, Army and Australian Public Service (APS) members will give blood or plasma to help Defence reach its 2019 target of 9,000 donations.
Last year, Air Force members generously donated 2,115 times, saving more than 6,000 lives.