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National Blood Donor Month
Maui Makes a Difference
By Michelle Lele, ASBP Blood Donor Recruiter, Tripler, Hawaii
Sgt. Jeremiah Jackson (left), non-commissioned officer-in-charge of the Tripler Army Medical Center Blood Donor Center, stands with first time donor Kellie Cruz (right) as she waits to begin her donation to the Armed Services Blood Program. (Photo by 1st Lt. Mark Preston, officer-in-charge of the Tripler Blood Donor Center)
The Tripler Army Medical Center Blood Donor Center would like to send out a big “mahalo”—Hawaiian for “thank you”—to the organizations that recently sponsored blood drives for the Armed Services Blood Program. The Maui community showed a true aloha spirit and their dedication to the military blood program was exceptional.
It has been more than a year since the blood donor center conducted a blood on Maui, but the response to the recent blood drives was great! For four days in April, several groups—the U.S. Army Recruiting Station, U.S. Army Reserve Center, Air National Guard, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Air Force Detachment 15 and the Maui High Performance Computing Center—stepped up to the plate to sponsor blood drives. By the end of the blood drives, 158 units of blood were collected for the Armed Services Blood Program! Service members and civilians alike came out to support the military community and deployed services members in Afghanistan.
“There is such a wide diverse group of people that live on Maui. It’s such a beautiful place to visit,” said Sgt. Jeremiah Jackson, non-commissioned officer-in-charge of the blood donor center. “My staff and I would like to express our sincere thanks to the donors. Without the time and effort you provide, we would not be able to help our patients. Your dedication makes the difference.”
The response to the blood drive was great, and each donor had their own reason for participating in the event. First time blood donor Kellie Cruz, a talk show host for a Maui radio station, had a few nerves going into her donation, but by the end of her donation, she was glad to have done it. “I was very nervous and scared and I didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “The blood drive staff made it the most comfortable situation as possible by explaining the process to me and making me laugh.”
Because blood may be needed at any time, it must be collected regularly. No one expects to need blood; however, if it’s not available when in need, the consequences can be fatal.
“I never really thought about how important it was to donate blood,” said Cruz. “My husband is a former Marine, and my father and grandfather are also retired military. This was a unique way to give thanks to military service members for what they do for our country. The experience was very good and I plan on doing this again in the future.”
Those who commit to giving blood once a season are vital to the success of the Armed Services Blood Program and ensuring that blood and blood products are available year-round. For their dedication and support, the Tripler Blood Donor Center wants to take a moment to say "mahalo" to those who volunteer this great service.
To find out more about the Armed Services Blood Program or to schedule an appointment, please visit us online:
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