Blood Donors: Real Life Superheroes
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's...a blood donor! Join the local caped crusaders at the New York Blood Center in their quest to save the lives of 20 million citizens this year.
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By Lisa Fiore
June 28, 2006
Everyone wants to be the superhero, but no one wants to wear the tights. Saving lives is exhausting work for the spandex clad boy next-door, but there's a simple solution for the healthy inhabitants of New York to save lives—no super powers necessary.
The New York Blood Center collects about 2,000 pints of blood a day, and they've been doing it since 1964. Let's do the math on this one: 2,000 pints of blood equals 2,000 donors. If each pint saves 3 lives, then that's 6,000 people saved every day in the New York area alone. And you mean to tell me there's still a need for new donors?
"People cannot live without blood and there is no substitute for human blood," says Danielle Freni of the New York Blood Center. "Donating blood is literally a matter of life and death; One donation can save three lives."
Two thousand volunteer donors is only the minimum required each day for the New York Blood Center to meet the need for transfusions in nearly 200 hospitals throughout New York City, parts of New Jersey, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley. The total number of lives saved every year by this organization alone reaches close to 20 million people.
While blood donation is a serious issue the New York Blood Center makes it safe, painless, and fun for people to give. On Wednesday, June 21st one event in White Plains marked the first day of summer with a BYOB bash at a local lounge. That's BYOB as in "Bring Your Own Blood." Volunteers like myself were treated to complimentary appetizers, non-alcoholic frozen drinks, t-shirts, live entertainment, and the chance to mingle with other life-saving singles.
"We were very happy with last night's turnout. Our goal was 35 donors and we exceeded it. We're hoping to do many more similar events in the future," Freni said. The New York Blood Center runs as many as ten drives everyday. To find one in your area call 1-800-933-BLOOD.
Curious if you're even eligible?
"Our basic requirements are that you're at least 17 years old, weigh 110 lbs., and are in good general health," says Freni. And don't think just because you take medication you'll automatically be ineligible, "Many people THINK they are ineligible because they are taking a medication or have an illness like diabetes. Most of the time, they CAN give, they just have to ask."
So to elevate yourself to super hero status in under one hour, make an appointment to donate blood or drop in on a local blood drive. You don't have to be Superman to save lives.
You're not afraid of a little prick, are you?