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Red Cross invites eligible donors to give blood

Tyler Tribute of Tyler, Minnesota

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January is National Blood Donor Month, and the American Red Cross invites those who are eligible to join the millions of blood donors across the country in helping ensure a stable blood supply for patients in need.

People have many different reasons for donating blood. Jill Long's is her late husband Bill, who died from esophageal cancer. After his Stage 4 diagnosis, he was able to survive for three more years, thanks in part to the blood transfusions he received. Long said she believes "the gift of time" is what blood donors really give.

"It took me only a few minutes to donate my blood, while he spent all day receiving someone else's—just so that he could keep fighting to stay alive," she said.

They were both grateful for that opportunity to fight, Long said. Now, as a blood donor, she said she feels like she can help other families in similar situations "battle to stay together as long as possible."

January can be a difficult month to collect donations due to inclement weather and seasonal illnesses. The Red Cross encourages eligible donors to make an appointment to give during National Blood Donor Month by visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in Lincoln County are:

Jan. 2 from 1-7 p.m. at VFW, 116 E. Saxon in Ivan-hoe;

Jan. 3 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at American Legion, 138 E. Bradley Ave. in Tyler;

Jan. 9 from 1-6 p.m. at Center Post, 114 S. Center St. in Lake Benton.

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Original Publication Date: January 1, 2014

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