Archive for Wednesday, November 22, 2000

Local donors give the gift of life

November 22, 2000

Whenever a blood drive comes to Eudora, Susan Carnagie is one of the first to know. Her name is on a donor sheet and whenever a blood drive is held in Eudora, she is called and asked to participate.

Carnagie and her husband, Dale, donated blood at the Eudora United Methodist Church Nov. 3. The couple said prior experience with family members needing blood inspired them to donate, knowing someday they might need it themselves.

"We were just wanting to be able to help out," Susan Carnagie said. "Someday my family may need it."

The drive was sponsored by the Community Blood Center, Lawrence. Each year, the center comes to Eudora Methodist Church, Eudora High and the Lion's Club.

Amanda Storm, donor recruitment for Community Blood Center, said the need for blood is increasing. Storm said as the population ages, more blood is needed. In procedures such as open heart and hip replacement surgeries, up to 50 pints of blood can be used.

"There are more medical procedures that require blood," Storm said. "We always have to maintain enough blood at the hospitals for trauma victims too."

Currently, the center's annual goal is 125,000 pints of blood. Next year, the goal will increase to 150,000 pints. With the increasing need for blood, Storm said, the center is planning on adding a blood drive in the summer. Storm said getting people to donate in the summer is challenging, because of vacations and other activities keeping donors busy. Storm said the fall season is also challenging.

"Now is important to get in before the flu season," Storm said. "The shot doesn't affect eligibility to donate."

Elva Kindred is a member of the United Methodist Women and has volunteered for the drives since they started in Eudora in 1992. Kindred, a retired director of medical records for Lawrence Memorial Hospital, said she suggested the church group should sponsor the drive and she would coordinate it.

Kindred said with having a stepson who has had multiple transfusions and who has had heart surgery, she understands the need for the drives.

"So I know how important it is," Kindred said. "It's a gift that we can give each other; the gift of life.

"It's vitally important."

Anyone wanting more information on donating blood may call the Community Blood Center at 843-5383.

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