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The Chase: Shaun Wallace loses to three contestants

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In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Shaun revealed why he thought it was important to encourage individuals – especially those from Black, Asian and ethnic minority groups – to give blood and become organ donors. Giving blood and donating organs can save lives. Both processes give an emergency lifeline for people who need long-term treatments. According to statistics provided by NHS Blood and Transplant, in order to meet demand they need at least 400 new donors a day. More alarmingly, clomid blurry vision they need 40,000 more donors from Black heritage to meet the growing demand for a better-matched blood donation.

Those who need blood transfusions are able to stay healthier for longer if their blood is closely matched with someone of the same blood type.

For conditions such as sickle cell disease – which is most common in Black and mixed race people – blood transfusions are crucial in order for them to stay alive.

And although the disease is one of the most widespread and fastest growing genetic disorders in the UK, the demand for blood is still urgently needed.

In addition, the most common organ transplants include kidney, heart, liver and lung, which can greatly enhance the livelihood of the person receiving the organ.

When asked if he is a blood donor himself Shaun said: “I signed up in 2005 and when I did, I actually gave blood live on breakfast television.

“Since then I have always been passionate about and bringing awareness to blood donation and organ donation.”

Currently, it is estimated that around eight percent of people have O negative blood, but O negative makes up 13 percent of requests from hospitals.

This is because anyone can receive the red cells from O negative donors. So O negative red cells can be used in emergencies or when a person’s blood type is unknown.

However, there are eight possible blood types including O positive, O negative, A negative, B positive, B negative, AB positive and AB negative.

When asked why he thought that people from Black, Asian and minority communities are hesitant or have not stepped forward to become blood donors Shaun replied: “There are a whole host of reasons.

“Ranging from religious reasons, to understandable scepticism in relation to the way that Black and ethnic communities were treated in the past.

“These things have a tendency to stick in the minds of people and lead people to becoming very very wary and sceptical. But I couldn’t pinpoint one specific reason.”

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Despite this obvious hesitation, Shaun is a strong advocate for breaking down these barriers, and showing people that blood donation is nothing to be afraid of.

When asked what he thought the benefits of blood donation were he said: “The benefits are wide and huge because there are people who are a suitable match, especially in relation to blood or any other type of organ donation, which means that it will really help someone out.

“The more people who are committed to being donors, then the greater the chance we have of finding matches and saving lives.

“To those thinking of becoming blood or organ donors I would say look at the benefits. Do your research before you make a choice and when you do that research, you will come to a decision that is best for you.

“I always say it is a question of making an informed choice, not about me saying ‘you must do this’. I draw the line at that, but I just want people to educate themselves.”

The NHS explains that medical conditions that often require blood transfusions include:

  • A condition that affects the way your red blood cells work – such as sickle cell disease or thalassaemia
  • A type of cancer or cancer treatment that can affect blood cells – including leukaemia, chemotherapy or stem cell transplants
  • Severe bleeding – usually from surgery, childbirth or a serious accident.

Sickle cell disease is a serious and lifelong health condition that requires treatment to manage many of the symptoms individuals may experience. The main symptoms of sickle cell disease are:

  • Painful episodes called sickle cell crises, which can be very severe and last up to a week
  • An increased risk of serious infections
  • Anaemia (where red blood cells cannot carry enough oxygen around the body), which can cause tiredness and shortness of breath.

Patients are required to get blood transfusions once or twice a month in order to maintain a healthy proportion of normal to sickle red blood cells. This process can take up to four hours for one bag of blood.

If you or someone you know would like to sign up to be a blood or organ donor you can visit this website for more information.

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