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Doing what you can

If you are feeling a little squeamish about the idea of donating blood, just remember an Avon Lake, Ohio, man has done it in all 50 states … twice.

By the way, Al Whitney is 84.

“I’ve donated platelets over 975 units,” Whitney told another media outlet.

“On my bucket list — I’ll get to a thousand.”

Imagine how many lives Whitney has saved.

Now the need is as great as it has ever been, and at the same time, people are more hesitant to donate blood in the thick of a pandemic. Whether it is a fear or general dislike of needles or concern about exposure to the coronavirus, it seems fewer people are willing to make this life-saving effort. But your help is needed.

“The American Red Cross is testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies,” the organization says on its website.

“As part of that effort, plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions.”

There are so many ways to make a difference, and while you don’t need to try for an attention-getting achievement like Whitney’s, it is enough to know you have done what you could to help.

Red Cross blood drives can be found at redcrossblood.org, or by calling 800-733-2767.

Don’t let fear stop you. As the Red Cross puts it, “if you’re willing to spend a few minutes facing your fears you may find that the satisfaction you feel makes it worth it.”

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