Guest Column: Rock River Valley Blood Center thanks donors

Rock River Valley Blood Center (RRVBC) wants to thank the approximately 19,000 volunteer blood donors who, through their dedication and commitment, have donated more than 38,500 units of blood in 2005. These dedicated community volunteers provided more than 82,000 products, ensuring lifesaving products were available for patients in their community. In addition, lifesaving products were available to assist other areas, like the Gulf Coast and Florida, where hurricane-devastated communities struggled to maintain critical supplies for patients.

January of each year is dedicated to honoring all blood donors. As we celebrate National Blood Donor Month, Rock River Valley Blood Center wants to remind everyone that the need for blood is constant. One in three people will need blood in their lifetime. This year alone, more than 4.5 million patients will require blood transfusions as accident victims, people undergoing surgery, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer and other diseases.

While we often hear of the search for manufactured or “artificial blood,” the truth is, there is no substitute for blood from healthy volunteer donors. While approximately 60 percent of the population is eligible to donate, sadly only 5 percent of those do donate blood. These dedicated volunteers are the “behind-the-scenes” heroes who are saving lives every day, touching the lives of not only patients, but the lives of their families and friends.

The Rock River Valley Blood Center has worked hard to make the donation process quick, easy and safe for our donors. Donation takes about one hour and can provide up to three life-saving products. The Rock River Valley Blood Center is the sole supplier of blood and related services to Beloit Memorial, Edgerton Memorial Community, OSF Saint Anthony, Rockford Memorial, SwedishAmerican, Freeport Health Network, Harvard Memorial, Northwest Suburban Community and Rochelle Community hospitals. Because of the dedication of volunteer blood donors in the Rock River Valley, these hospitals have never been asked to postpone or cancel a surgery or medical procedure.

On behalf of area patients, their families and friends, I want to thank those who have taken the time to donate blood, and I urge those who have not yet donated to become a hero. Give blood. It’s About Life.

Linda Gerber is CEO of the Rock River Valley Blood Center.

For more information about RRVBC, contact the office at 419 N. 6th St., Rockford, IL 61107; by phone to 815/965-8751 or toll-free to 866-889-9073; or online at

From the Jan. 4-10, 2006, issue

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