The American Red Cross will host several blood drives in Johnson County in January. The month marks National Blood Donor Month. Donors are critical to ensuring a stable blood supply for patients in need.
The nearest Red Cross Blood Drive will be from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 9 at AIG, 17200 W. 119th Street in Olathe.
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 redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.