APPLETON — During the summer months, the need for blood donation is higher than ever. People are busy, creating low donor turnout and a higher need for blood use at area hospitals.
You never know when it could be you or someone you love.
Brad Beck was a freshman at UW-Oshkosh when it happened to him.
"I felt kind of weird,” Beck recalls. “I would get nose bleeds in class...just a lot of really unexplained issues happening.”
In 2006, he was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a potentially fatal condition where damage to a patient's bone marrow causes the production of new blood cells to slow down.
He needed a bone marrow transplant, which was donated to him by his sister. But he also needed several blood transfusions.
"I needed a lot of blood," says Beck.
There is no substitute for human blood and one in seven individuals who enter the hospital will need it to save their life.
The need for donations is an ongoing battle. The shelf life of red blood cells is 42 days and platelets are only good for five days. Donations are used by trauma victims, surgical patients, cancer patients and more.
The community blood center has donor centers throughout the Fox Valley and hosts 100 mobile blood drives per month.
“It makes me feel really good to know there is a supply there for people who need it,” says Neenah blood donor Lee Veeser.
“There's a patient at the other end of that donation who is going to celebrate another birthday, enjoy another summer, who's going to live to fight another day,” says Kristine Belanger, the VP of Donor Services at The Community Blood Center.
“If there weren't blood donors weren't donations available to me, I’m not sure what would have happened to me,” says Beck.
Brad is healthy today. He has a wife, a 6-month-old son and a bright future.
The community blood center is hosting its annual Mash Blood Drive at the end of the month. You can stop out at Houdini Plaza in Appleton On June 26th. The drive runs from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Donors will receive a t-shirt, lunch and refreshments. They'll also be signed up for a chance to win a day at the ballpark.
Click here for more information.