An Olympic effort
Bringing a Lifeblood ambassador to life
In 2022, Michael Klim shared a part of his life with the world that he’d been keeping a secret for almost three years. Sitting down for an interview with journalist Lisa Wilkinson, Michael opened up about his diagnosis of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) in the hope that his story could raise much needed awareness for this rare condition. During his interview, Michael mentioned that part of his treatment involved a product called intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg). For most people, this little fact was overshadowed by the revelation that one of Australia’s greatest Olympians was in the battle of his life — but at Lifeblood, we saw how significant this passing comment could be.
IVIg is a plasma product made from donations from countless plasma and blood donors. Over the past few years, the demand for plasma has grown so much that, this year, it became the blood product most needed by patients and hospitals in Australia. But there’s a problem: the majority of Australians don’t even know they can donate it.
Klim could change that.
Like many Australians, here at Lifeblood we were devastated by the news of Michael’s diagnosis, but there was also hope that, if he was up for the challenge, he could help to ensure every Australian has access to plasma products when they need them most.
We approached Michael’s team with a partnership idea. If Michael was willing to share his story, he could show Australia that the need for plasma could affect anyone — even an Olympian.
Michael loved the idea. He knows how important IVIg is to his ongoing treatment. If he could do something to help others living with autoimmune conditions like his, or one of the many other medical conditions treated with plasma, he would. Klim said the ambassador role was also an opportunity to thank Australia’s plasma donors.
“The generosity of Australians is tremendous. Without it, people like me wouldn’t be functioning the way we do, and it helps us maintain a pretty normal lifestyle. It gives us hope,” he said.
The Michael Klim partnership has helped us show millions of Australians the impact of blood donations. The visibility of plasma treatments is rising among the public, and new donors are joining us to give blood and plasma in support of an Australian hero and the countless others like him. As we prepare for a new year, we’re excited to keep working with Michael and raise awareness for the vital role plasma donations play in our medical system.