14-year-old Jordan Amos isn't begging you to donate blood, but he is asking you to try. “I need blood and I need a lot of people to donate so I can stay alive and healthy,” Jordan says.
The need for type O blood is critical at South Bend Medical Foundation, that's where Jordan gets blood every five weeks for a life-saving transfusion. Without that blood sickle cell disease could clog his veins and kill him. Without donations South Bend Medical Foundation has no blood to give.
“We call it a critical need and what it means is that we have less than a one-day supply of that particular blood type,” explains Blood Donor Recruiter Jeanna Pugh. “We're unable to get blood from anywhere in the country. We're solely relying on the community to supply this blood!”
It's a desperate situation that happens only once or twice a year and that's scary for people on the receiving end of the blood.
One in three people will need blood in their lifetime. It isn't just someone like Jordan suffering from a lifelong disease. Someday that person in need could be you. “We need at least 500 people to come in this week and donate blood to get us back to a safe level,” Pugh says. “The blood stays right here in our community, so it's going to our local hospitals and doctors' offices.”
One donation can save as many as three peoples' lives. “Please donate blood for me. You can save my life and other people's lives too,” Amos exclaims.
If you don't know your blood type, donate anyway. The need for all types is great and so is the feeling you'll get knowing you've made a difference.
Volunteer donors must be 17 years old (16 with parents' permission). You should be in good health and free of flu symptoms for at least 72 hours. South Bend and Mishawaka locations are open by 8 a.m. daily. For more information call South Bend Medical Foundation at 234-1157.