Donations go beyond the blood bag: WWAY and the Red Cross hold a blood drive

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LELAND, NC (WWAY) — Thursday, WWAY, American Legion Post 68, and the American Red Cross teamed up to hold a blood drive and we collected donations from 42 people.

How does that blood affect the community?

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When you donate blood, it’s hard to focus on anything but the here and now. The sterile smell of the room, the pinch of the needle, and the nurse’s reassurance that it won’t hurt.

According to Kathryn Bauer, blood cancer and bone marrow transplant survivor, that donation goes beyond the blood bag.

“I had to have about a hundred blood transfusions,” said Bauer. “And for almost a year and a half, every day I would get a blood test and that would tell me whether I needed red blood cells or platelets.”

Without men and women coming to blood drives like Thursday’s, Bauer said she wouldn’t have made it to her bone marrow transplant, which has kept her alive these ten years and given her so many priceless memories.

“I feel like I’ve been given a second chance at life. And I’m going to do everything I can to enjoy every single day.”

According to John Hacker, a commander at Legion Post 68 and a blood drive donor, Bauer isn’t alone.

These drives help countless men and women suffering from medical emergencies, sickle cell disease, and cancer. People like Hacker’s brother.

“My brother passed away of cancer many years ago,” Hacker explained, “and his daughter called me and said, ‘Uncle John, we need blood.’ And so, our family rallied around that, and that gave him extra life to be with his family. And that’s been very important to me.

For some like Bauer, blood can provide ten years of life.

“My last ten years have been the best ten years of my life,” Bauer said, “and I would not have been able to do that without their help.”

For others like Hacker’s brother, it can provide days.

Be it decades or minutes, time with the one you love is precious. And Thursday, men and women who donated blood gave a lot more than they may ever know.

“I thank those people that took the time out of their day and their lives to come down,” said Bauer.

If you’d like to donate blood, it’s not too late.

The American Red Cross is hosting another blood drive on February 12 at the Brunswick Surgery Center. To schedule an appointment, click this link.