Blues x Give Blood: Ravi Kumar
As will be the case with all summer transfers, Blues marked the arrival of Fran Stenson in the Second City by raising awareness of Give Blood.
The goalkeeper's arrival at the Club, on a season-long loan, was utilised to profile 34-year Ravi Kumar from Handsworth.
When Ravi first signed up to become a donor at the Birmingham Blood Donor Centre, he did so because of a shortage of people coming forward to give blood from the Asian community in the city.
It is extremely important that people from all races give blood because where possible, health professionals will match blood from donor to recipient by race. That gives the body a better chance of accepting it which is important in many surgeries and operations where human life can hang in the balance.
Couple that with a shortage of donors coming forward from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, and Ravi had the perfect reason to, in his words, start giving back.
“Around the time of signing up, I read that there was the need to increase the number of donors from the Asian community for both blood and organ donation, so the timing couldn’t have been better. I also consider it a duty to help others, maybe stemming from working in the fitness industry.
“I have a few friends who have joined up to become blood donors which was great to see. Nobody gives blood for an incentive. It’s more the feel-good factor post-donation, knowing you’ve done something great. As well as being signed up to be a registered Stem Cell donor, I am also on the organ donor register.”
Ravi is becoming more experienced in the process and has completed 26 donations of blood to date, but says he understands why people might be nervous, particularly the first time they come forwards.
“It’s human nature to be worried about the whole process of blood donating. Most of the time I’ve heard people say they would like to donate but don’t as they’re not fond of needles.
“Even to start with, I would definitely recommend attempting at least one donation - which can save up to three lives. The nurses will do their best to keep you at ease throughout the process.
Continuing his praise for the staff at the New Street centre, Ravi admits the kindness shown to him when he attends is one of the reasons he continues to return.
“I can’t praise the staff enough; they have always been brilliant. I have a good rapport with them. They keep an eye out for you from the minute you walk into the centre to the moment you leave, and beyond. If you feel unwell after a session, they can provide advice in person and online or even over the phone.”