Mum of two, Janine Patterson, is a woman on a mission. With two young children to look after and a job as a Lead Project Manager for TSB, life is already very full.

But Janine, from Hamilton, is determined to raise awareness and encourage more people to give blood. Having set herself a target of signing up 20 new donors before the end of the year, she has already found the first three via her newly launched Facebook page and is also in training for the Simplyhealth Great Women's Run taking place in Glasgow on 10th June.

It wasn't until Janine and her husband Steven sadly lost their first baby Rhys in 2008, to a rare type of anaemia, that doctor's discovered Janine carries antibodies in her blood that can attack the baby's blood cells while still in the womb. 

Two years later when expecting their daughter Sophia, now 7, Janine's pregnancy was classed as high risk and she was treated at a specialist fetal medicine unit where consultants regularly measured the blood flow in the baby's brain.

A healthy and happy Isaac and Sophia

At 21 weeks into the pregnancy the baby needed what was the first of seven life-saving blood transfusions, which worryingly came with its own risks due to the needle being inserted through Janine's stomach and into the baby. 

Janine said: “So, we required blood. Not very much but whatever was needed was the difference between life and death as we witnessed before.”

At 35 weeks baby Sophia was brought safely into the world and whisked off immediately for another transfusion, which encouraged her little body to start producing red blood cells on its own. Her final transfusion followed a few months later.

When the procedure had to be repeated with their now 2 year old son Isaac, who needed a total of 5 intrauterine transfusions and 3 following his birth, a shortage of blood meant a very worrying time until a supply was sourced from a different area of the UK.

Baby Isaac

Having only taken up running last year, Janine was thrilled to complete her first 10k in 1 hour and 11 minutes and is now looking forward to the challenge of the Simplyhealth Great Women's Run, mixing up her training runs with either spin or body balance classes.

Although she usually runs alone Janine has great support and encouragement from both her husband Steven and across the miles from her friend in Northern Ireland, who will be joining Janine on the start line in June as she sets out to raise awareness for Scotblood, the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service.

“I am hoping people will see how relevant this is and be reminded to donate if they haven't done it in a while or donate for the very first time. My husband and I are very grateful to people who selflessly donate, what they do really does save a life and it costs nothing.”

Follow Janine's campaign by visiting her Facebook page Be A Blood Donor in 2018

For more information on the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service click here

To enter the Simplyhealth Great Women's Run click here