National Blood Donation Month

NOW: National Blood Donation Month

SOUTH BEND, IND. January is National Blood Donation month and the South Bend Medical Foundation is putting out the call, for folks to come in and meet the need!

This is a time where continued donors are celebrated all the while still doing their part in recruiting new donors as well.

“We thought this theme could be for outside of Covid," says Mary Ankrapp, the South Bend Medical Foundation Blood Donor Recruitment Supervisor. "We’re in this together to help save lives and by donating blood you’re doing just that.”

The 2021 theme for National Blood Donation month is #InThisTogether.

A motto the South Bend Medical Foundation is hoping to celebrate going into this new year, all the while following the latest COVID-19 regulations.

With masks, in depth sanitization processes and social distancing in place the foundation wants to remind donors that donating blood is as safe as ever.

Something continued donor, Grace Lazar says has been evident over the last 5 to 6 years that she has been donating blood.

“You know I was a little apprehensive with COVID and coming in to donate at first," says Grace Lazarz. "But if there’s a time when donors are needed this would be the time. People are playing it really safe here and it’s a very comfortable environment so if you can come and donate.”

But whether is it National Blood Donation month or not there is always a need.

So blood banks are doing their part to get the word out while focusing on their own efforts, including a newly implemented initiative saving COVID-10 patients lives here locally and country wide.

“Just right around thanksgiving it was really hectic it has dropped off here a little bit I mean we are still sending out quite a bit on a regular basis," says Ankrapp.

Taking in blood and plasma donations and then sending them right back out again.

This has become the norm at the South Bend Medical Foundation as their needs continue to grow in the age of COVID-19.

“Any donor that has been exposed or in contact with COVID virus they have developed antibodies that they have found to be helpful for people who are in the hospital and really sick," says Ankrapp.

Helping the sick--one reason why continued donor Grace Lazarz has donated blood for many years.

"I'm an O negative blood type which means I’m a universal donor so it’s a pretty easy way for me to give back to my community," says Lazarz.

A choice Lazarz says even in the age of COVID is something you should consider as well.

“Yeah come in and feel like you are making a difference because you are," says Lazarz. "Donating blood is something most people can do. If you’ve not tried before I say come in and give it a try. Maybe it’s something you can do in service to others.”

A service that could and has now benefited those in the fight against CVOID-19, with coronavirus antibody positive plasma now being collected right here in South Bend and being distributed to COVID-19 patients in need.

“The plasma we are on a National data base so we send out to our local hospitals and also sending out to places across the country that might have a need at the time for a particular blood type. So if we need it from somewhere else if we needed a certain blood type we would be able to reach out and get that from somewhere in the nation as well," says Ankrapp.

The initiative already helping out COVID-19 patients in need across Michiana and the nation but the Medical Foundation wants to do more.

If you go to the South Bend Medical Foundation's website you can click on "Donate Blood Now" where you will find any and all information you might need to make your next blood or plasma donation appointment.

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