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Cristina

Ft. Pierce, Florida

My father started organizing blood drives at our church, Holy Redeemer, in College Park, MD, back in the 1980's I think, though it may have been before that. He always donated blood. His goal had been to get to 10 gallons when that organization used to give 10 gallon donors a 10 gallon (cowboy) hat.

Growing up, I remember seeing his blood gallon donation stickers stuck to the brick wall outside of his office at University of Maryland.

Cristina

As soon as I was old enough and weighed enough - I think I may have been a senior in high school - I started donating. I am O neg. I eventually took over and ran the blood drives where I worked for 15+ years. Fast forward 10 gallons and going anemic I switched to platelets. 48 double units donated before my iron issues resolved, and now back to whole blood since its tagged for pediatrics most often. I've lost count, but am somewhere over 12, going on 13 gallons I think. I've donated to other organizations, multiple hospital centers, and now OneBlood here in Florida.

As to why I still donate, my dad passed in 2018 and needed transfusions through his cancer treatments. My father inspired me to donate. I am healthy enough to give. Giving blood is actually good for you as your bone marrow is forced to generate fresh red blood cells, it is a simple way to pay it forward, and costs nothing to save lives.

I'm not posting this to brag, but rather to inspire. 7% of the population donates blood, of that 2% return to donate again ...

Lead by example. "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Mahatma Gandhi

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