'I want to tell you about the best gift I've ever been given.'

What’s the strangest gift you’ve ever been given?

Mine is blood. Lots of blood. Oh and some plasma too.

See, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma last year and it was the shock of my life. I’m 31, fit, healthy and apparently had cancer riddled all through my body

At least I now had a bloody good excuse for all those missed gym sessions and hardly having the energy to do anything on the weekends except collapse into a heap and binge watch Outlander.

I had to start chemotherapy straight away and it turns out chemo ain’t all it’s cracked up to be (I mean it did save my life) but it can make you very weak and anaemic.

Many cancer patients will require a blood transfusion at some point.

And so, my amazing colleagues at Mamamia and my gorgeous friends decided to all go donate blood.

Video by MWN

It was incredibly emotional seeing everyone giving blood, it made me ‘ugly cry’ as you’ll see in the video above. I was so moved by the gesture. In that moment seeing friends and colleagues sitting there in the medical clinic, hooked up, giving blood I felt like we were strangely connected, like they were experiencing a small part of what I’ve been through the past few months.


Turns out blood is a bloody awesome gift and I never thought I’d be saying to so many friends ‘Thanks for the blood,’ but here I am.

Every donation can save up to three lives and one third of all donations are used for cancer patients. You even get a text to tell you where you blood has gone!

Blood donation text
Image Supplied.

So, if you know someone going through cancer this could be a great thing to do.


Or, you know, just donate anyway because it’s awesome (and they give you snacks).

Jana Pittman talks to Mia Freedman about the symptoms women need to look out for when it comes to gynaecological cancer. Post continues after audio. 

Below are photos of my friends donating blood, led by my partner Roger.


Briony Benjamin is the Executive Producer of Video mischief-making at Mamamia. Just before Christmas last year, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after a year of feeling crappy for no good reason.

Thankfully, Briony is currently recovering from chemotherapy and feels like one lucky little chica. Whilst going through treatment she made this video With and Without: Hair. She hopes this video might encourage even a few people to go and get checked out, and remember to put their health first.

You can find more about Briony and follow her mischief-making adventures on her Facebook page. For more information on Lymphoma, please visit the Lymphoma Australia website. 

And for everything you need to know about donating blood, visit