Rep. Carson: Blood Bank Saves Lives

 

By Rep. Bill Carson

 

When I was a boy growing up in Smyrna, I remember waking up in the middle of the night to the ringing of the telephone. My father would answer and tell the person on the other end of the line that he was on his way, then he’d put on his coat and head out the door.

He was going to the hospital to save someone’s life, but my father wasn’t a doctor or nurse. He was a lifetime donor and member of the Blood Bank of Delmarva, and since his blood type was rare, he was on a special list of members to call when someone was in dire need of blood, day or night.

Following my father’s example, and witnessing the Blood Bank’s lifesaving work first-hand as a volunteer firefighter, I also became a lifetime member of the Blood Bank of Delmarva. My family is one of over 150,000 families on the peninsula who joined not only for the peace of mind in knowing there will be blood there for us if we need it, but also because of the opportunity we have to give back to our friends, neighbors and hundreds of other people in need who we will never know.

I was honored to recognize the Blood Bank on the House floor in January, commending them for their six decades of service. Over those years the Blood Bank of Delmarva expanded to serve 1.6 million people from Cecil County, Maryland, all the way to the southern tip of Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Last school year, 75 high schools and 11 colleges participated in blood drives, collecting more than 8,000 donations. In 2013, the Blood Bank collected more than 79,000 donations of blood, platelets and plasma.

Even as the health care industry has changed, the need for blood banks and the resources they provide to our community has not diminished. Lifetime membership in the Blood Bank of Delmarva is now free to all. Members are asked to donate blood at least once a year, and, like my father used to, be available to provide additional donations when supplies of your blood type are running low.

This spring we’ll be having a Blood Bank of Delmarva blood drive at Legislative Hall in Dover, so watch for details in the coming weeks. If you would like to set up an appointment to give blood, or get more information about becoming a lifetime member, please visit the Blood Bank of Delmarva’s website at www.delmarvablood.org. And remember, if you’re unable to give blood you can always contribute a tax-deductible donation to the Blood Bank and support their work across the region.

 

Rep. Carson serves the 28th District in the Delaware House of Representatives, which includes the town of Smyrna and surrounding communities.