Chadd Boland of Peoria is a Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Specialist for the Illinois Army National Guard, 444th Chemical Company. Chadd first gave blood in 2016 during Basic Combat Training. At the time, he admits he was not too excited about the idea, but a little convincing got him there.
Toward the end of the training, his company was offered the chance to donate blood in lieu of physical training that day. Chadd was hesitant about needles but says, the offer, which included snacks he’d not been able to enjoy for several months, was too good to pass up. “I’m quite sure my entire company donated after that,” he says.
Before Chadd graduated, his drill sergeants handed out thank you cards from hospitals that received the donated blood. He says, “It felt great to help. From then on, I decided to donate every chance I get.”
Chadd learned during his first donation he has O+ blood, which is given to patients more than any other blood type and considered the most needed blood type.
He understands why people might get nervous before donating blood, but says, it’s worth it, and a chance to do some good. Plus, he adds, you may end up being the person who needs blood someday.
“It’s definitely helpful. I got into an accident once and broke my leg. I can’t imagine how many bags of blood they needed for me. I definitely want to give back what I took, especially if my blood goes to someone who desperately needs it.”
Chadd still regularly donates blood. He is a Power Red donor and says, “I always do Power Red because I like to donate a little more. I’m trying to help out however I can.” He has donated 13 units of blood so far, with no plans of stopping.
Thank you, Chadd for being a volunteer blood donor! Visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment to donate blood at a location near you.
Written by Illinois Region Communications Manager Brian Williamsen