Winter weather has caused hundreds of lost donations over the weekend. Please give as soon as able. All types are needed, especially universal donors. For those eligible to donate, please find a Donor Center or mobile blood drive near you at www.bloodcenterimpact.org or by calling (800) 747-5401.
Being a blood donor is one of the most important things anyone can do. I learned by example since my father is a multi-gallon donor and passed the importance of giving blood onto me. I began donating blood while serving stateside in the military and continued that tradition when I returned home to Illinois.
In the fall of 2010, I was on top of the world just a few months after graduating from the University of Illinois’ Fire Service Institute when my life changed in the blink of an eye. In October of 2010, I was the passenger in a single vehicle rollover. I suffered multiple bone fractures and a traumatic brain injury. Since that accident, I have had no less than one surgery every year. I thought I knew about the value and importance of donating blood before my accident and as a first responder, but since then, I can honestly say I owe my life, several times over, to blood donors. I wouldn’t be here if there wasn’t a safe, adequate supply of blood available to me during critical events in my life.
I know I am fortunate to be alive. I am also fortunate to still be able to donate blood and pay it forward to some person who is in need. I am happy to say that I am preparing to donate what will be my 4th gallon of blood and I hope to motivate others to do the same.
Robert BatesVeteran, Volunteer Firefighter and Blood Donor