URBANA, Ill., (WCIA) — For some, blood is critical to life, it’s the medicine that keeps you alive. But, the organization Impact Life said less than 10% of the population donates.

Eddie Gordon, a medical lab scientist at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana wants to change that. He knows the importance of blood donations first-hand, from both personal experiences and as a scientist.

At Carle’s Blood Bank, every day is different.

“There are some days where we can transfuse, go through hundreds of units, and there are other days where we’re we’ll only use 2 or 3 units,” Gordon said.

He helps with behind-the-scenes logistics, helping get the blood off of the donation trucks, into the hospital, and to the patients who need it the most.

Gordon said they have to be ready for unexpected trauma cases, but also many cancer patients. They require certain, special units and it can be challenging if the right blood isn’t available.

At Carle, he said they’re thankful for their great donor population but are always looking for more.

He knows about the importance of blood all too well.

“My dad had leukemia that he ultimately passed away from, we as the family said ‘hey, let’s go donate now!'” Gordon said.

His dad relied on donors and hopes more people are encouraged to give back.

“When you help somebody, you’re helping someone in your own community,” Gordon added. “Maybe you’re that one person that those patients with multiple complications need you to donate.”

WCIA 3 is partnering with Impact Life for the WCIA 3 Gift of Life blood drive from Dec. 26 to Dec. 30 at various locations throughout Central Illinois.

It’s honoring the memories of Dave Benton and Robert Reese, two beloved WCIA 3 family members who relied on blood donations in their fights against cancer.

For a link to those locations and a signup form, visit this link.