World Blood Donor Day: Drop in blood donations over summer months

Local News

URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — World Blood Donor Day is here. There are many in Central Illinois who have helped give the gift of life, but it’s coming at a time of year where more help is needed.

A number of accidents throughout the summer require blood. Usually donations drop because donors are less available.

Every year, as summer approaches, the need for more blood donors increases. With more people hitting the roads during this time of the year, accidents peak during these months.

But some lives can be saved with the help of blood.

“With one trauma situation, that could take up to 10 to 20 pints of blood for one person. It’s that we always need that blood on the shelf because you never know what could happen or when tragedy could strike,” says Ashley Morgan, donor relations consultant for Community Blood Services of Illinois. 

One donor has been giving for a decade. A friend encouraged her to give, but it was a different experience which showed her why it mattered.

“I did have a family member once that was getting blood transfusions and made me realize yeah that’s what they do with it, so it makes you feel good,” states Nancy Davis. 

Another donor is a retired nurse and she saw the need for donations firsthand. 

“We had someone come in after a bad accident and we didn’t have any blood that we could match with his,” says donor Sue Rickey.

Her husband donates alongside her. He has also served people and saw trauma as a volunteer firefighter of 22 years.

“You do see things you don’t want to see, and you do know people need help that can’t help themselves, so it all adds up and it comes out to their benefit,” says donor Darrell Rickey. 

The benefit can spill over to those who donate their blood.

“You’d be surprised how good it makes you feel when you see that it helps people,” says Davis.  

“Think about if that was your family member laying there or themselves and how they would want that blood available,” says Sue Rickey. 

If that wasn’t enough to encourage people to donate, the Community Blood Services of Illinois is giving an incentive. 

People who donate from now until September are entered into a drawing to win a vacation worth $2,500. There’s a winner each month until the end of summer.

WCIA-3 News is teaming up with Community Blood Services of Illinois later this year for the Gift of Life Drive. It’s all in memory of our friends, Robert Reese and Dave Benton, who both died of cancer.

You can help by donating Thursday, December 28, 9 am – 7 pm. We’ll have more information as the date gets closer.

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