One of the best gifts you can give

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by Sherri Burns

staff on blood busWhen is the last time you had the chance to save someone’s life?  It is not something that most people think about on a daily basis, but it is easier than you think.  Saving someone’s life could take as little as 30 minutes, and doesn’t cost anything.  What is it you ask?  Donate blood. 

Tuesday, June 14 is World Blood Donor Day, so what better time to try it!  The theme for this year’s World Blood Donor Day is “Blood Connects Us All.”  Each person is connected to family, friends, work, activities, and community.  There is a really good chance that someone you know has donated blood or maybe even received blood.      

Think about this: St. Mary’s Regional Blood Center must collect approximately 950 units of blood each month to supply the 17 hospitals they serve on the Western Slope.  That is a lot of people stepping up to save a life!  Recently, the blood center celebrated its annual “Gallon Club” members, in which more than 900 people achieved a gallon milestone in 2015.  Some had reached their first gallon milestone while others were celebrating a lifetime of donating over 30 gallons of blood.  What an amazing accomplishment! 

How do I become one of those amazing people who give a piece of themselves every 8 weeks to help make sure that a mother, father, brother, sister, grandparent, aunt, or uncle goes home to their family? Well, it is actually pretty easy! 

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Steps to Donate Blood:

1. Registration: Stop by St. Mary’s Regional Blood Center or the Bloodmobile.  All donors will be asked to provide some basic information (name, address, age, etc.) as well as official picture identification. 

2. Medical History & Mini Physical: Donors will respond to a short health questionnaire to determine their eligibility and then a mini-physical is conducted which includes heart rate, temperature, blood pressure, hemoglobin.

3. Donation: During the actual collection, donors recline comfortably in a chair while one pint of blood is drawn.  This part of the process only takes about 10 minutes.

4. Rest & Refreshments: Donors enjoy juice and cookies to help replenish fluids and energy.

5. Go home and feel good that you have saved lives!

If you need even more incentive to donate, St. Mary’s Blood Center is giving one luckily person each week during the month of June two tickets to a Hear It Through the Grapevine concert at Grande River Vineyards! 

Now that you know a little about donating blood, it is time to try it!  Grab your friends & family and head to the blood donor center or the bloodmobile.  Whether you stop by on World Blood Donor Day, or any other day, know that your gift is truly going to save someone’s life, and they will forever be grateful.  It doesn’t get much better than that!   

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