Donegal’s first female Blood Biker

Blood bike rider and Inishowen Gospel Choir member Fiona Pender.

Blood bike rider and Inishowen Gospel Choir member Fiona Pender.

FIONA Pender is set to become Donegal’s first female Blood Biker – the silent emergency service which saves lives and money by transporting urgent supplies between hospitals and labs out of hours.
Like the other riders from Blood Bikes North West, she will carry out her duties on a voluntary basis in her free time to help the HSE save money that would otherwise be spent on taxis.
As well as holding down a full-time job in Derry, Fiona is also a member of the Inishowen Gospel Choir where she’s joined on stage by her sister Irene.
Last weekend the choir, who played Electric Picnic, performed as part of the Dunfanaghy Jazz and Blues Festival.
Next weekend, she’s on Blood Bikes duty as she helps organise their annual fund-raiser in her role as Secretary of Blood Bikes North West.
On Saturday, September 24, there will be a county-wide bucket collection while the following day, Sunday, there will be a motorcycle ride-out from the Oasis Bar in Letterkenny which will take in part of the Inishowen 100. They will be joined by a group from Belfast in the ride-out, weather permitting, at 2pm.
Blood Bikes North West transport necessary medical items, such as blood, drugs, human tissue, breast milk and any other medical requirements that can be transported via motorbike between hospitals, clinics and blood transfusion banks.
The proud owner of a Honda VFR800, Fiona is the newest recruit to Blood Bikes North West whose volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds.
“I love riding the bike so I thought I could kill two birds with the one stone so to speak – ride the bike and help provide an important service,” she said.
“The music and the bikes are not a bad combination,” she said.
“Next weekend is our big annual fund-raiser and we would appreciate any help we can get over the weekend. The buckets will be out across the county while the you can also join the ride-out on Sunday, September 25, at €10 per bike,” she said.
“I’m no doctor or nurse but I can ride a motorcycle and if that helps, that’s what I’ll do,” she added.
At the moment there are eleven riders with, on average, 12 to 14 calls per month for the Blood Bikes North West team

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