Donors at South Bend Medical Foundation explain why they give blood

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 10:25 AM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Around this time of year, our attention shifts to what foods we’re eating or the different types of gifts that will be under the Christmas tree.

But it’s also a time to be giving, and what better way than giving the gift of a blood donation. And for some volunteers and donors at the South Bend Medical Foundation, it has become a personal experience.

Michael Molnar was a recipient before becoming a donor. He received over 19 pints of blood at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, after a boating accident on diamond Lake back in 2019. Molnar nearly died after he was struck by a propeller and fell from the back of the boat.

That accident was a life-changing moment for Molnar, who would fight back on the path to recovery, which includes advocating for blood donations.

“After surgery five, I’ve had 10 in total, in pre-op I was probably at my lowest,” Molnar said. “My wife was a big reason for my recovery. She refocused me and helped me set some goals. Goal number one was to be able to drive the kids to school, goal number two was to make myself a cup of coffee without any help and enjoy that on my porch, and goal number three was to start donating and start promoting blood donations. And that’s something that I will be doing the rest of my life.”

Molnar is not the only donor with personal reasons behind the means. Stephanie Lancione has been giving blood for years, but it wasn’t her focus until 2014 when a car accident took the lives of her in-laws.

“You never know who you will be impacting when you donate,” Lancione said. “I’m donating for my father-in-law, in his honor, and donations are so easy. Donations could be helping your neighbor or neighbor’s child, you just don’t know. But you can’t help them if that supply is not there. This is something free, and you can do it every couple of months.”

There’s also a lot going on at the South Bend Medical Foundation for those interested in getting involved.

A Military Blood Donation Challenge started last week with local VFW and American Legion posts competing for bragging rights! The competition goes on until the end of November, with anyone being able to participate.

All donors who donate before the holidays can also receive their choice of a turkey voucher for Martin’s Super Markets (while supplies last) or a Meijer gift card.

There’s also more eligible donors allowed at South Bend Medical Foundation centers thanks to changes in FDA donor eligibility.

If you’re interested in donating, you can set an appointment online at or call 574-234-1157.

You can donate at any one of the following centers:

  • 3355 Douglas Road, South Bend
  • 1290 Ireland Road, Ste. 700, South Bend
  • 2222 Rieth Boulevard, Ste. 105, Goshen

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