Howard Fies started giving blood in 1952.
“I thought I’d be helping somebody,” he said.
In fact, Fies has helped lots of “somebodys.” He recently donated his 100th pint of blood at an American Red Cross blood drive at the Stanly Family YMCA inAlbemarle.
Fies says he is a blood donor because of people like an 18-month-old named Danny, who was in need of blood after surgery. Fies found out he was a match for Danny.
“I just want to help somebody, somewhere, sometime,” he said.
The need for blood is constant. Like the Emergency Room of a hospital, the American Red Cross must be prepared to respond to patient emergencies with blood products 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Through the everyday support and generosity of blood and platelet donors, the Red Cross can be prepared to do this day-in and day-out, no matter when or where these blood products are needed.
The Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to 103 hospitals and must have 1,600 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand. Accident victims as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses receive lifesaving transfusions every day. There is no substitute for blood and volunteer donors are the only source.
Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Platelets can be safely given every two weeks, up to 24 times a year. Most healthy people age 17 and older, 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood and platelets. Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements.
For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate, please call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org. Call 1-877-975-2835 to make an appointment to donate platelets.