Blood donations down after rough winter in Mid-Michigan - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Blood donations down after rough winter in Mid-Michigan

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(03/07/14) - Old Man Winter and Mother Nature have caused countless problems since December.

While the snow and ice might not melt any time soon - you can help correct another problem created by winter weather.

You don't have to look too hard to find reminders of just how bad this winter has been.

Piles of snow, potholes, damaged tires - the evidence is everywhere - even at the American Red Cross.

"It's been a very, very long winter. I mean, not just for the Red Cross, but obviously for everybody in Michigan," said Todd Kulman, of the American Red Cross.

"Normal" can be bad enough, but this year was especially tough.

"Typically winter is a challenging time anyway," Kulman said. "We have lost a little over 1,600 units of blood during the first two months of the year, over 60 blood drives."

That was just for the 65 counties covered in the Great Lakes Blood Service Region.

Nationally, more than 1,500 blood drives have been canceled and 50,000 units of blood have gone un-collected.

"Apparently I'm not the only one that weather got in the way. I couldn't make it that day because the travels were unsafe," said Greg Eve, a donor.

Eve started giving in the 70's, then, "My grandfather went through a fairly horrific surgery in the 80's."

That made his connection to the Red Cross personal.

-"I and some of my fraternity brothers donated then and it's just something I've kept doing because that really showed me the need," he said.

That's why Eve quickly rescheduled his missed visit. Now, the Red Cross needs others to do the same.

"The need for blood is constant. Every two seconds, somebody needs a blood transfusion, so we're encouraging folks now that the weather is getting a little bit nicer to come on out, take an hour of their day, and roll up their sleeve and help save a life," Kulman said.

Blood donated in this region is used by your friends and family at 58 hospitals.

"What do they say? You can save two to three lives with it. That's pretty amazing. There's other ways to be charitable, but this one seems to have a very direct effect," Eve said.

If you'd like to donate, click HERE.

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