The Cressy & Everett community recently showed their support of the Michiana community through a South Bend Medical Foundation blood drive. The South Bend office hosted the event on July 12.
For many, the yearly drive is an opportunity to provide blood and blood products during a time of critical shortage. For others, the choice to donate was personal.
For Agent Maria Lisenko donating her blood was an opportunity to stave off her fear of needles while saving lives. "I did it!" she said. "Having a rarer blood type, I always wanted to donate but couldn't because of fear. But, I know there is a need for my blood."
Lisenko has O+ blood type, meaning she is a universal donor to all positive Rh factor blood types. According to the South Bend Medical Foundation, 80 percent of the population has a positive blood type and can receive Lisenko's blood.
Though her blood is rarer to come by, all donors should know their donations help save lives. A blood transfusion is required about every three seconds in the United States, and just one donation can save up to three lives through whole blood and blood products.
Michiana has been experiencing a critical blood shortage and has seen a significant drop in blood drives due to the pandemic. Blood donors of all types are urgently needed through the summer when hospitals experience a higher number of traumas and emergency room visits.
Those who attended the event were treated to lunch from Rico Suave Food Truck and Vanilla Bean Creamery. "It was nice that everyone who donated received a $10 gift card and a free lunch," Lisenko said. "When you donate blood, you can walk away knowing you made a difference. It's not every day that I can literally change a life!"