Frequent and first-time blood donors share a desire to help

Paul KruegerPaul Kreuger has donated blood 10 times. This time, the American Red Cross gave him a golden pin for donating a gallon of blood over the years.

Paul says he is glad he can help someone in need. “If I can and am eligible, then I should donate,” he said at a Chicago blood drive. “What’s stopping you?”

The Red Cross is grateful for long-time donors like Paul, and for first-time donors like Christina Theodorou, who overcame herChristina Theodorou fear of needles because she wanted to help save lives. As a medical student, Christina understands the need for blood through her research in thalassemia, a disorder that requires patients to undergo regular blood transfusions. Blood donations help these patients and many more. A total of 30 million blood components are transfused each year in the United States and more than 44,000 blood donations are needed every day.

Christina and Paul are not alone. They are joined by other donors who want to help save lives. Kristin Cleary, a frequent blood donor, realized her O positive blood is the second most needed blood type. Her time in the military reserves encouraged her to roll up her sleeve to donate to the Red Cross.

The donation process is simple. Start to finish, the process takes about an hour. The donation itself lasts about 8 to 10 minutes, but the gratification remains long after that.

Blood donors are extraordinary for stopping to take time out of their day to contribute to the urgent need for blood. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. Join the cause by looking up a local blood drive near you.

—Written by: Amisha Sud

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