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Resolve to be a blood donor in 2023

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Resolve to be a blood donor in 2023

​If community involvement is one of your New Year’s resolutions, then consider donating blood.

Stella Archuleta, a Hendrick Health employee, has donated 16 times since 2018. That equates to approximately two gallons.

“After I gave early on, I received a text that said, ‘Your blood saved a life today.’ That really made it real,” said Archuleta. “I remember feeling very blessed and thankful to be able to do that, to help someone.”

That altruistic reward often motivates donors, according to a survey by the Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies Foundation. Almost 75% of the 5,000 surveyed donors said they give blood to help others.

Additional reasons include giving blood makes individuals feel good about themselves, supports their community and “pays back” society for the times when they or loved ones needed transfusions.

“Because blood cannot be manufactured, volunteer donors are required to supply blood to save the lives of children and adults fighting cancer, blood disorders, traumatic injuries and more,” said Lauren Spindler, marketing and business development manager at Hendrick Regional Blood Center (HRBC). “We supply blood to 19 hospitals and medical facilities in a 14-county area. To keep up with the demand, we need to have 60 donations per day.”

Tabitha Marshall, a Hendrick Health employee, made her first donation after turning 18. Her mother, who at the time worked in the Hendrick Regional Laboratory, championed blood donations. Participating in a blood drive with other members of a high school student organization eased that first donation, Marshall said.

“Working at Hendrick, I know how important it is to have blood on hand,” said Marshall. Since 2005, she has donated 26 times, totaling approximately 3.25 gallons.

Mark Lewis, who works at Abilene Christian University, usually visits HRBC every two weeks to donate platelets, which are small cell fragments in the blood that help control bleeding.

During a platelet donation, blood is drawn from an arm into a machine that automatically separates the blood components. Platelets are diverted to the collection bag, and the remaining blood components are returned to the donor. The process takes approximately 90 minutes, counting check-in, compared to the 30 – 45 minutes it takes for a whole blood donation.

Since 2010, Lewis has donated more than 43 gallons of blood products at HRBC. His lifetime total is much more, beginning in 1978 when he donated with high school friends in Nacogdoches.

“Hanging out with friends and doing something to benefit someone else, that can literally make a difference in someone’s life, that’s amazing,” Lewis recalled about why he first donated.

His wife also is a cancer survivor, and he learned firsthand the importance of platelets during her treatment. Knowing that peoples’ lives depend on platelets while undergoing cancer or other treatments keeps him donating, he said.

“People tell me, ‘I hate needles,’” said Lewis. “I don’t like them either. Who does? But you get used to it, and it’s for a good cause.”

Donors must meet eligibility requirements and be at least 17 years old. To learn more about donating blood, visit, follow Hendrick Regional Blood Center on Facebook or Instagram or call 325-670-2798.