June 28, 2021

Netherlands – Thank you to blood donors

The main event the past period was of course the WPIW. Regrettably COVID-19 still has us under its grip, and it was evident that all events should be planned online. Following a successful 10-week long WPIW event in 2020, we decided to plan an activity for every day of WPIW. This resulted in a week with educational webinars, a round table, meet & greet, games and creative workshops. 

Educational workshops included an update on the Dutch VACOPID study, a study of 500 PID patients and 200 “healthy” individuals to test the immune response to one of the COVID-19 vaccine´s, and another one about the collaboration between a lung specialist and a principal investigator at an immunology department. 

The round table under the topic “Together, bring change during COVID-19” started with an introduction about the positive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in children and then progressed to the changes in adults. 

The meet & greet, led by our youth commission was fruitful and several members got connected. Games (escape room to find patient zero) and a pub quiz led to some frustration and great fun! Photographic skills of the Stichting voor Afweerstoornissen (SAS) members are tested yearlong at the “perfect PID picture” contest under specific themes: “PID & active life”, “lifestyle & PID” (currently running) and the upcoming “on holiday with PID”.

Prior to WPIW the girlfriend of a PID patient contacted us wanting to do something for SAS by reusing the immunoglobulin vials. She is now upcycling the vials by filling them with dried flowers and a candle to be sold. SAS receives 10% of each sale. This is a great initiative from an environmental perspective also raising good awareness for immune disorders. The money received will be put towards the making of a comic story with a superhero. A special booklet on PID for young children. 

Our latest activity was on International Blood Donor Day. The Dutch blood bank promoted the use of a frame that people can add to the profile picture of Facebook showing that they are a blood donor. This gave us the idea to produce one to thank the donor from a plasma product user perspective.
SAS has also been thanking plasma donors with thank you cards for 10 years.
As it is still not possible for us to visit the blood donors to thank them personally, we have reached out to our online followers to send cards to donors through the Dutch blood bank. They will ensure that they are distributed to several different locations and passed out to the donors.