Eighth annual Lifesavers Blood Drive is July 15

— Summer is in full swing, and it is more important than ever to donate blood. Blood donations often drop during the summer while schools are out and people are traveling to visit family and friends. In order to raise awareness and help prevent shortages, I’ll be hosting my annual Lifesavers Blood Drive along with the American Red Cross on Tuesday, July 15.

Each day in the United States, 40,000 pints of blood are transfused to save the lives of cancer patients; accident, burn and trauma victims; newborn babies; mothers delivering babies; transplant patients; surgery patients and others in need. Platelets, which are critical for cancer patients, have a shelf life of only five days, making timely donations all the more important.

Since blood cannot be manufactured, the Red Cross and people in our community depend on the generosity of blood donors to meet our blood supply needs.

Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood and a single donation can save up to three lives. Yet, while an estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate, less than 10 percent actually do each year. For this year’s drive, our goal is to collect more than 150 pints of blood.

I began hosting the blood drive as a way to honor my father and follow in his footsteps.In the village of Clyde, he used to sponsor a similar yearly blood drive. My father taught me the importance of donating blood on a regular basis, and I encourage you to join me in giving blood at this year’s blood drive.

While blood donation is a safe and simple process, it is important to know your eligibility. Blood donors must:

• be at least 17 years old;

• weigh at least 110 pounds;

• have a clean bill of health; and

• answer a questionnaire to help ensure all health requirements are met.

This year’s event will be held from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 15, at Driver’s Village, 5885 E. Circle Drive in Cicero. In addition to blood donation, the drive will feature dozens of great prizes, live music and refreshments. To register ahead of time, visit tinyurl.com/LifesaversBloodDrive or contact my office at 452-1115 or StirpeA@assembly.state.ny.us.

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