Local blood drive hopes to curb the need for donors this summer

Declaration for Donations Blood Drive in La Crosse

Local blood drive hopes to curb the need for donors this summer

LA CROSSE, Wisc. (WKBT) - With a high need for blood donors, an area donation event gives people the chance to make a difference.

The Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Milwaukee that specializes in blood services, esoteric diagnostic testing, organ, tissue and stem cell donation, medical services and leading-edge research.

The Versiti Blood Center held its annual Declaration for Donations Blood Drive at the La Crosse Center on Tuesday.

Organizers say Summer can often mean higher numbers of traumas than at other times of the year - which makes the need for O negative blood all the more critical. 

"We need to see over 800 donors everyday to help meet the needs of the hospitals here in La Crosse as well as across the state of Wisconsin," said Regional Manager of the Versiti Blood Center, Nikki Chalsma. "So it's important that if you are able to donate blood to make it into the next area blood drive."

One La Crescent patient has received more than 600 plasma infusions for more than 30 years. Colleen Storandt lives with Upshaw-Schulman Syndrome, a rare blood disorder that destroys the platelets in her blood. After suffering a stroke she began receiving three units of plasma every week. Colleen says she is thankful for those who donate and if not for them she wouldn't be here.

"The generous donors are greatly appreciated by me and all of the other people who need it in a situation like I do," said Storandt.

A second donation drive will take place on Wednesday, June 18 from 12:30 pm until 5:30 pm at the La Crosse Center.

Anyone 17 or older who is in general good health and meets eligibility requirements is encouraged to donate blood.  Parental consent is required for 16-year-olds to donate. Appointments are preferred to ensure a quick and convenient donation, but walk-in donors are also welcome. The entire process takes about an hour, and donors should bring a photo ID that includes birth date.


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