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Raye D.

Okeechobee, Florida

Raye has been a strong advocate for blood donation from a very young age. She became an avid donor as soon as she was old enough, but later in life was told she had to reduce her frequency of donations due to medical reasons. Raye’s passion led her to write a weekly column about blood donation for the Okeechobee Times. She felt her writing would help encourage people to donate when she could not. Her articles were published weekly for eight years, accumulating more than 400 columns that covered the full gamut of information about blood. In 2004, Raye fully realized the value of what she was doing when her husband used 36 units of blood in a valiant effort to keep him alive.

Raye I am OneBlood June 2015

Her hometown of Okeechobee is a small rural community with a population of approximately 5,600 people. Raye’s dedication created a community wide blood drive called the Okeechobee Blood Roundup. The event attracts up to 10% of the county’s population to roll up their sleeve and donate blood! With Raye leading the charge, this wonderful small community has proven their dedication to increasing the blood supply for individuals in need by providing more than 4000 units of blood.

Raye’s commitment and dedication is demonstrated in everything she does. She has the heart of the ultimate lifesaver who gives her time to inspire others to give the gift of life.

Where Are They Now

November 2020 - Raye continues to be a huge advocate for blood donation. She recently shared this update with us: “Five years ago I was chosen as part of the I Am One Blood campaign to alert people to the fact that almost anyone can donate blood and have the joy and satisfaction of literally saving lives. Since that time, I have donated 25 more times. This has brought my total, since my first donation in 1968, to almost 17 gallons of whole blood. But, why would I not donate? I receive a free mini-health checkup every donation. I have the potential to save as many as three lives every donation. I get to be part of a community of donors who believe it is more blessed to give than to receive. I have never received blood, but my husband has. To those donors who help keep others’ hopes alive, I say, ‘You are wonderful, thank you.’ Please join me in donating.”

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