San Angelo, TX — For 31 years, National Blood Donor Month has honored the heroes among us who give the gift of life: blood. While many are trying to synthesize blood or reproduce its effects, today there is no substitute. And every two seconds, someone needs blood. This year alone, more than five million patients will require blood transfusions as they recover from accidents or surgery or receive treatment for leukemia, cancer and other diseases.
"At United Blood Services, we encourage individuals to commit to finding the hero in themselves by giving blood at least 3 times a year," says Linda Grace, United Blood Services Donor Recruitment Representative. "If all eligible people would make and keep that 3-time-a-year commitment, blood needs in the Concho Valley would always be met."
Real-life story: Emilie and Jeremy pay it forward for Reese
Little Reese was born a fighter. She has Williams Syndrome, a condition that can present life-threatening cardiovascular problems. At just one month old, Reese had open-heart surgery. "I remember seeing the bag of blood when it was delivered to her hospital room for one of her transfusions," recalls her mom, Emilie. "I thought that I didn’t even know the person who this came from, but they were saving my daughter’s life."
Now 2, Reese recently started preschool. She loves watching movies and eating chocolate. Her parents, Emilie and Jeremy, are Gold donors — giving blood at least three times a year to help others — just as generous strangers did for their daughter.
For the month of January, United Blood Services is honoring donors by free gas Friday, Movie Monday, Donut Day, Cakes in a Cup Day, the Superbowl Giveaway and more! Make a commitment to blood or platelet donation in 2011. Each time donors keep their appointment, they earn a new level of commitment — bronze, then silver and gold. Each donation also earns points for shopping in the Hero in Me Rewards Store. Visit www.UnitedBloodServices.org for more information.
People who are 16 and older and in good health are eligible to donate. Additional height/weight requirements apply to donors 22 and younger, and donors who are 16 must have a signed permission from a parent or guardian. Appointments may be made at www.UnitedBloodServices.org.