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This van is a reminder to local residents, whenever it’s in town, that the Seneca Hospital Auxiliary is hosting one of its twice a year blood drives. The message is clear, “Give blood three times a year.” It’s an easy way to find the ‘Hero in You.’ Photos by Gregg Scott

Community ‘heroes’ respond

Chester/Lake Almanor residents had another opportunity to help support their community Wednesday, Sept. 18.

That’s right, the Seneca Hospital Auxiliary (SHA) Pink Ladies hosted another community blood drive at the Lake Almanor Elks Lodge and everyone should know that donating blood is one of the easiest ways to give back to your community.

Along with staff from Vitalant (Formerly United Blood Services), the SHA transformed the dining area at the Elks Hall into an efficient, medical-looking blood draw room able to serve eight people at a time.

Each year across the nation, nearly 5 million Americans will need a blood transfusion.

Blood donations help trauma and burn patients, heart surgery patients, organ transplant recipients, premature infants and cancer patients just to name a few.

On average, a red blood cell transfusion will use three units of blood.

Considering that red blood cells must be used within 42 days (or less) and platelets must be used within five days, it is no wonder the national blood supply is always teetering on the minimum side of stable.

You may ask, “What has that got to do with me?”

Chances are that most people reading this report have already had a family member or friend that has needed blood.

Another important question is, “What do we all have in common that instantly connects us and gives us the ability to help some of those 5 million people in need.

Actually that is a rhetorical question, obviously it’s the very blood coursing through the veins in each of us.

This amazing, ever-replenishing gift is probably the most valuable natural resource available to mankind, when shared.

It can save lives and offer second chances, it speeds healing, provides comfort and brings hope to families and friends of those whose lives depend on it.

Thirty Almanor residents donated 34 units of blood using one of three methods. The lives saved by their actions are incalculable.

According to the Red Cross, blood donations from those aged 40 years and younger are far less than previous generations.

If you’ve never donated blood before, the Pink Ladies encourage you to give it a try!

It’s so easy, only about an hour of your time, which begs another question, Is saving someone’s life worth an hour of my time?”

You can make a reservation ahead of time to fit your schedule or you can drop in at your leisure. Go to www.vitalant.org and check out the process ahead of time to know what to expect and make the experience pleasant and rewarding.

As the sign on the van says, “Find the Hero in you.”

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