Health Plus: Blood donor now needs blood - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Blood donor now needs blood

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For years one eastern Iowa woman donated her blood to help save the lives of strangers.

Now things have come full circle as she depends on donated blood transfusions to keep her alive.

Mary Meyer used to be a regular blood donor.

"Well whenever the Red Cross came to Aplington and that might have been twice a year," she said.

Now the 73-year-old needs blood donations to keep her alive.

"That would be true, yes. I never thought about needing it. Except maybe in case of an accident or something," she said.

For the past thirteen years, the Aplington woman has been coming to Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo for monthly, 6-hour-long blood transfusions.

"We transfuse about 2,000 units a year. Every month about 300 thereabouts," said Jackie VanKamen, who is lead medical technologist at Covenant.

The donated blood helps counter the syndrome that keeps Mary severely anemic and unable to make enough healthy blood cells.

Without it, she would not survive.

"I do appreciate the donors because there's been a lot of them," she said.

The American Red Cross and Covenant depend on donors to keep the supply flowing.

Bobbi Snethen with the American Red Cross says "come out and give blood. It's open to the public. They're here actually every 8 weeks but again we also have a donation center right in waterloo as well as Dubuque.  But you can go to redcrossblood.org to schedule an appointment or call us at 1-800-RED-CROSS. If you obviously don't know what your schedule's going to be like we take walk-ins. We're happy for anybody that can make the time to give."

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