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Local blood bank pushing for more donors

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Our area's blood bank is holding a drive today and tomorrow pushing for more donations.

Representatives at Coffee Memorial Blood Center in Amarillo say as many take off time during thanksgiving, it's difficult to get donors to come out and give blood. And unfortunately, patients cannot take a holiday.

There are hundreds of area children and adults in need of blood everyday. Director of Marketing & Public Relations Suzanne Talley says "We have a very young lady named Mia Whitney. And she just started kindergarten, but she had heart surgery. Normal delivery, she was growing. Everything was going well until her siblings came home with a cough."

Mia's cough developed into pneumonia, and at the hospital they realized she had a heart defect. Talley says, "Her blood wasn't getting enough oxygen because of the pneumonia. And she had to receive multiple blood transfusions to make her strong enough for the heart surgery. And we hang her poster proudly in our hall now because she is a survivor. Because of volunteer blood donations."

Talley says there are fewer donors during the holidays. Also, more travelers increase the chance for accidents. So the demand for blood is greater. She says they especially need the universal blood type O negative because it can be given to anyone in a crisis.

Area residents like Priscilla Sanborn are helping save lives like Mia's. Sanborn says, "I donate on a regular basis because I still know of the need. And then I've had a couple of friends that was going in for major surgery that needed to stock pile blood before their surgery. And I've donated there a few times."

Sanborn has been donating blood for over 50 years. She says she first started when she was working at the hospital in Dalhart and saw the need for it. "There was a baby that needed blood and then we had a massive accident that required numerous units of blood."

And she doesn't plan to give up. "I plan to continue donating blood for as long as I can." You can donate blood at Coffee Memorial Wednesday from 5:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. They're giving away t-shirts, gallons of milk, and turkey dinners.

Also, if you bring at least five cans of food for the High Plains Food Bank, they'll give you a cookbook.

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10.

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