2012-03-01 / Religion & Family

Blood drives planned this month in county

March is Red Cross month and Red Cross officials encourage everyone to consider volunteering. Whether it’s by donating blood, time or money, members of your community play a vital role in helping the Red Cross provide services to those in need.

As a pediatric anesthesiologist, Dr. Dick Marnach has seen blood save lives. He has traveled the world providing free health care to the underprivileged and at times transfused his own blood in to these patients. In these deprived countries, he has also experienced the heartbreak of there not being enough blood available.

As a cancer patient, Dr. Marnach has experienced the “profound” difference a blood transfusion can have on the body. Blood donations have helped make his treatment possible, have restored his quality of life when his body is drained by chemotherapy, and have given him moments with his family that otherwise would not have been possible.

“I’ve spent the last five or six months getting ready to die,” said Dr. Marnach. “Fortunately, I have been able to be an active and involved parent because of blood and blood products I have received from the American Red Cross. For that I am truly grateful.”

Dr. Marnach’s “From Doctor to Patient” story can be seen on YouTube, Facebook and redcrossblood.org.

The Great Lakes Region of the American Red Cross needs to collect approximately 700 units of blood everyday to help meet the needs of hospital patients.

“I wish I could tell everyone who is thinking of donating blood to do it. To pick up the phone, to go on the Internet, to make that appointment today,” Dr. Marnach said.

For information on blood donation or volunteer services, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org.

In March, blood drives are planned at Houghton Lake, Roscommon and St. Helen.

On March 19, a blood drive is planned at St. John Lutheran Church, Houghton Lake, from noon until 5:45 p.m. On March 21, a blood drive will be held at the Kirtland Community College Student Center from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. On March 26, a blood drive is planned at the St. Helen American Legion Post from noon until 5:45 p.m.

To schedule an appointment to donate, call (800) 733-2767 or visit www.RedCrossBlood.org for information.

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