Do you donate blood?
I admit, Iím not a blood donor. I donated blood one time back in my hometown of Marshall. I might have been in college when I did so. My mother and I donated in the basement of our church, St. Mary of the Nativity, where a blood drive was set up.
It wasnít a bad experience. Sure, you get a needle prick. Itís uncomfortable, but certainly not as uncomfortable as whatever the patient in need of that blood is experiencing. Of course, thereís a time commitment involved in donating. Thatís another reason Iíve made excuses through the years not to give.
But consider the words of Sharon Rozelle. She organized blood drives in Milton for 31 years before passing on the task to Jennifer Preiss.
ďItís very important to do it while youíre healthy because there might be a day when you canít do it or that you may need it, and you would hope that there would be someone to donate,Ē Rozelle says.
The American Red Cross is experiencing an emergency shortage, which often occurs this time of year as the need stays steady but potential donors get busy with summer activities and vacations. The Red Cross says more than 5 million patients get blood in the U.S. every year, that the average patient needs three pints, and that among those getting blood are more than 1 million new cancer patients annually.
A blood drive in Milton will be from noon to 6 today (Friday) at St. Maryís Center, 837 Parkview Drive.
All of us Janesville residents have an opportunity to donate during a blood drive from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday, July 15, at the American Red Cross South Central Wisconsin Chapter office, 211 N. Parker Drive, Janesville.
Maybe that convenient location, Rozelleís words and the desperate need are the combined impetus I need to donate once again. How about you?
Two more blood drives are upcoming:
--2 to 6 p.m., Tuesday, July 16, at American Legion, 3913 S. Highway 213, Orfordville.
-- 2 to 6 p.m., Monday, July 22, at St. Stephen's Family Center, 716 Shu Lar Lane, Clinton.
Make an appointment at redcrossblood.org or by calling 1-800-Red-Cross. Walk-ins are welcome.
Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or follow him on Twitter or