Thanks to the efforts of 989 donors and 90 volunteers, the 26th annual Carolina Blood Drive, sponsored by the Employee Forum and the Carolinas Region of the American Red Cross, brought in 990 pints of lifesaving blood June 3, surpassing the 850-pint goal.
“I was so excited to be a small part of this year’s Carolina Blood Drive,” said Jones Angell, the play-by-play announcer for the Carolina football and basketball teams who stopped by the drive to thank donors. “Giving blood is an easy way we can make an enormous impact in our community and even save a life.”
Since the inception of the Carolina Blood Drive 26 years ago, a total of 23,580 units of blood have been collected, including what was collected at the June 3 drive at the Dean E. Smith Center. Among the 989 donors were 156 first-time donors.
They enjoyed visits throughout the day by special guests, including UNC Women’s Basketball Coach Sylvia Hatchell, who offered heartfelt remarks.
“Thank you for giving the gift of life, because you gave it to me. I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for what you are doing today,” said Hatchell, who was diagnosed with leukemia last October and is now in remission.
Also on hand to thank donors was 7-year-old Liviya Anderson, who was diagnosed in 2010 with aplastic anemia. “You giving blood actually saves lives,’’ Rebekah Anderson, Liviya’s mother, said. “It saved our daughter’s life, so thank you.”
Kirsten Kruhm of the Carolinas Region of the American Red Cross added: “We are so thankful to the UNC community for the success of the 26th annual Carolina Blood Drive. We saw an amazing jump from the 25th annual blood drive which collected 802 pints, and we exceeded the 2011 total of 989 pints further showing that every unit truly counts.
“What is most amazing is that since we can create three lifesaving products from every donation, the 990 pints of blood collected can be used to help save the lives of nearly 3,000 patients.”
During the summer months, blood donations tend to decrease, making the Carolina Blood Drive, held every year in June, an important drive for the Red Cross and the community who relies on a constant blood supply. For more information about how to donate blood, visit redcrossblood.org/Carolinas.
By Rhonda Beatty, Carolina Center for Public Service
Published June 5, 2014