Mid-Michigan Red Cross unveils summer awareness campaign

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OWOSSO (WJRT) - (6/14/19) - It's an important campaign designed to inspire more people to donate blood.

Memorial Health Care in Owosso launched their 2019 blood drive Friday morning by showcasing what happens when supply levels drop and the critical role both repeat and new donors play.

"Blood donations tend to go down throughout the summer months. And that's why we launched the "Missing Types" campaign to raise awareness and help us carry, have momentum to carry us through the summer, said Kelly King, Mid-Michigan Red Cross Executive Director.

Last month there was a shortage of "O" blood, the type which anyone can receive.

But, the need exists for other types, such as A, B and AB.

And it's not only whole blood, but platelets and plasma that's used by millions, from cancer patients, to different surgeries and treatment for anemia, just to name a few.

In fact, 32,000 pints are used every day across the country, with about 40 % supplied by the American Red Cross.

"We found that a third of the public hasn't thought about the fact that blood might not be available when a loved one or themselves need it," added King.

Donors know the need is great.

"You want to help other people and because you might actually need that blood. You never know when there could be an accident. It's very serious," commented Cory Msnow-Andres from Owosso.

"I like to help people and I donate, I try to donate every time the hospital has one or the community center in Corunna. I do it every 56-60 days," added Rose Harvey, a Corunna resident.

One person who gave has a special reason for making regular contributions.

"Oh, I've been donating for close to 40 years. After I had an injury to my arm many years ago, after I received blood I just decided that I'd start giving back," said Gerry Hittle from Owosso.

Donating blood only takes an hour.

There's even an online form called "Rapid Pass" that speeds up the health and history pre-screening even before arriving at the donation center.

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