Give life

Published 1:38 pm Saturday, November 24, 2007

By Staff
Some people will give of themselves this Christmas season, literally.
They will be the ones donating blood at today’s blood drive sponsored by the Beaufort County chapter of the American Red Cross. The blood drive is being conducted from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Wal-Mart in Washington. Several other blood drives are scheduled for coming days in the area, including one Tuesday from noon until 6 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in memory of Jim Howerin.
By giving blood, these donors will be giving life. Other than their time, it costs nothing for blood donors to provide their gifts.
There are plenty of reasons to donate blood. The following reasons are among them:
According to the American Red Cross’ Mid-Atlantic Blood Services Region, in which northeastern North Carolina is located, supplies of blood types O positive, O and B negative are critically low. The Mid-Atlantic Blood Services Region supplies blood to hospitals in eastern North Carolina and central and eastern Virginia. It collects more than 160,000 blood donations each year.
There are two methods donations may be made. Whole-blood donations may be made at Red Cross donation centers and blood drives. An apheresis donation requires special equipment that separates platelets from the blood and returns the plasma and red cells to the donor. Apheresis donations may be made at the Norfolk, Va., or Hampton, Va., donation centers.
Each type of donation helps save lives.
Blood donors have helped save the lives of people who suffered from leukemia, babies who were born prematurely with bodies not producing blood on their own and people who suffered massive blood loss from injuries sustained in accidents. Some people require regular blood transfusions to live.
Will donating blood really make a difference?
Yes. There is living proof. Just ask Janna Blackwell, a sickle-cell anemia patient who has received blood transfusions every six weeks during the past seven years. Just ask Sarah Gamble. In 1999 when she was 19, Gamble was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease. She was able to fight and make it to the recovery process because of blood and platelet donations.
If the Christmas season is about giving, what better gift to receive than the gift of life?
Give life. Give blood.
For a list of blood drives in the area, visit and click on the “Eastern North Carolina” list.