The Rock River Valley Blood Center Needs Your Help

- Duane Thompson says you don't have to twist his arm to give blood, "I am one of 11 children. And, at this point, there are 3 of us left. I have lost 4 brothers and 2 sisters to cancer. My in-laws both passed of cancer, and I was told that this is something that will help cancer patients."

But, even with donors like Thompson, Jennifer Bowman, Public Relations and Marketing Manager for the Rock River Valley Blood Center, says their supply is seriously low, "We're not seeing the same influx of donors at our donor centers or our mobile blood drives. That typically happens in the summer, but it doesn't usually happen in May."

Right now, they only have only a handful of bags of B negative and O negative blood types on the shelf. It's a pretty tough predicament considering the fact that the shelves should be full. Why the shortage? For some people, the long hard winter made it more difficult to donate blood.

No matter what the reason, Bowman says they need donors as soon as possible, "Blood lasts 42 days. So, we can try to stock up a little bit in advance of Memorial Day weekend. That's one of the very few holidays that we are closed. And, we will lose a whole day of drawing."

So, the push is on to get everyone who can give blood, to roll up their sleeves. In just one hour, one donor can save 3 lives.

Thompson agrees, "It is a gift of life, and if you were in their shoes, wouldn't you like someone to donate to you?"

To donate blood, you just have to be at least 17 years old, at least 110 pounds, and in good general health. Contact the Rock River Blood Valley Blood Center and donate today. Just visit 419 North 6th Street in Rockford, Il.  Or, you can call them at (815) 965-8751.

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